The rules of evidence are voluminous and complicated. There are so many rules and so many exceptions and so much gray area that it does get frustrating. Generally speaking, family law judges have been known to let evidence slide by more than other judges, but it certainly helps the practitioner to be as familiar with the evidence code as possible.
Section 61.20 of the Florida statutes provides that if the court orders a social investigation and study in any action where a parenting plan is at issue, the court may consider the information contained in the study in making a decision on the parenting plan, and the technical rules of evidence do not exclude the study from consideration.
In a divorce action, the property must be distributed. There is usually some type of equitable distribution worksheet that is done during the proceedings. To separate property, assets and liabilities have to be determined. It has to be determined whether these assets and liabilities are marital or not.
The rules contained in the Florida Evidence Code apply to all family cases. The requisite evidence may be established by lay or expert testimony, so knowing when each is proper and how to qualify someone as an expert is imperative. Demonstrative evidence, reports, or summaries may also be used, so it is also important to know how to admit those as exhibits.
If there has been an order for time-sharing, basically saying one parent gets custody and the other parent gets visitation, or any form of dividing up of the child’s time, a parent cannot just unilaterally move a child a significant amount away from another parent.
Many times people will want to try to hide assets or money prior to filing divorce. This is not wise. Just because you sold your car to your brother for one dollar, does not mean you got away with something.