Evidentiary Challenges in Divorce Cases: From Writings and Photos to Text Messages and Social Media

Authenticating, Admitting and Objecting to Admission of Evidence and Testimony

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recorded event now available

Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide family law counsel with approaches for defending the admissibility of evidence in divorce cases. The panel will discuss laying the foundation for exhibits, review authenticating and introducing different types of evidence, and identify ways to restrict evidence and testimony.


Knowledge of the intricacies of the rules of evidence is a must for family law practitioners to achieve a successful result in any contested court proceeding. Counsel must properly lay the foundation for and correctly introduce evidence in divorce cases. With personal information about parties available via an ever-expanding number of social networking sites and new methods of communication, counsel faces evolving demands.

Practitioners must utilize proper procedures for authenticating and admitting exhibits, from writings and photos to emails, text messages, websites, and social media. Developing effective approaches for restricting improper evidence, making proper objections, and setting forth offers of proof is also critical.

Listen as our panel of family law practitioners discusses best practices to prepare evidence for admission at trial and outlines strategies for restricting improper evidence. The panel will offer their insights into making proper objections and offers of proof.



  1. Cornerstone of all evidence: Relevance, reliability and authenticity
  2. Proper procedures for authenticating and admitting exhibits
    1. Writings
    2. Photographs
    3. Emails
    4. Text messages
    5. Websites, including social media
    6. Business records
  3. Proper testimony—when may a lay witness testify to opinions or conclusions
  4. Original evidence rule and when it applies
  5. How to properly admit a summary
  6. Effective use of demonstrative exhibits
  7. The hearsay rule and common exceptions used in a family law case


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • The proper procedure for authenticating and admitting different types of exhibits
  • When a lay witness can testify to opinions or conclusions and when not
  • Common exceptions to the hearsay rule that may be used in a family law case
  • The original evidence rule and when it applies
  • Unique challenges and solutions to introducing and authenticating electronic evidence


Michael P. Judge, Esq.
Michael P. Judge, Esq.

Burns & Levinson

Mr. Judge focuses his practice on all aspects of settlement and trial of family law. Areas of concentration include...  |  Read More

Sheri Lake
Sheri Lake

Smith & Lake

Ms. Lake has practiced family law exclusively for over 15 years. She represents spouses, partners, mothers and...  |  Read More

Holly B. Rampy Baird, Esq.
Holly B. Rampy Baird, Esq.

Orsinger Nelson Downing & Anderson

Ms. Rampy’s practice focused on providing efficient, effective counsel on issues involving divorce,...  |  Read More