Sunday, 21 July 2013

More on video evidence

..Sorry I found more notes in my files on recording of your ex.

Notes On Audio and Video Taping

The use of video and audio recording is becoming a commonly used tool in divorce and custody conflicts. Videotape of a parent mistreating a child, or images of a parent or guardian driving while intoxicated can exert a strong influence on a judge or custody evaluator. Video evidence is compelling and difficult to refute; when used properly it can be a powerful and persuasive factor in how your case is decided.

When videotaping, discretion often produces the most useable evidence. If your spouse knows they are being taped they will be on their best behaviour and you will likely not get much of value. If, for example, you want to document your ex's behaviour during an exchange of your child, consider having a friend videotape the scene from a nearby vehicle. If your ex isn't aware that their actions are being recorded, he or she will be more likely to "act natural" and misbehave.

If you do not have access to a video camera, one alternative is to meet in a public place that is already under surveillance, such as a gas station or 'mini-mart'. Many gas stations, for example, have cameras that cover the pump area outside as well as the interior of the building. These cameras are in operation 24 hours a day and record everything that happens on the premises. A casual inspection will show which areas are covered by the cameras; you can then pick a spot that will be recorded and arrange to meet your ex there. If she misbehaves, it is a simple matter to request the tape though a subpoena. This is especially true if she commits some sort of assault or threatens you in any way during the exchange.

You must take care not to "bait" or provoke your ex, or do anything to precipitate an unpleasant scene. Be yourself, be polite, and don't start trouble. Judges often cast a sceptical eye on videotaped evidence, especially if the subject was unaware they were being recorded. If you cause a dispute, the videotape will probably be used against you, ultimately harming your case.

That said, videotape can make a world of difference when used properly. If your ex is polite and well-mannered in court, but is shown on tape cursing and picking a fight with you when exchanging the child, this can cause a judge or custody evaluator to think about your ex in a different light. In some instances, just showing the tape to the opposing attorney will motivate them to settle.



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