Tips for Evidence Collection and Preparation
1. Witness testimony: In terms of procedure and formality, two lawyers are required to present for its objectivity. If the witness is unwilling to testify in court, it is advised that the notarization of witness testimony may be taken as a substitutive option.
2. Evidence needs to be authenticated: For example, one of the parties argued that the child in question is not truly his child. In the absence of any evidence, his lawyer would think of doing a paternity test before the hearing. For the purpose of authentication, two things need to be considered: the choice of the firm and who may assign and hire the authentication firm. Not all the firms are qualified for such authentication, only those in the list published by Ministry of Justice can be used for this authenticated, the list shall be checked by the attorney before hiring any such firm. With respect of the question of who can be the party that can assign and hire for authentication, the regulation of "Provisions on the Administration of Judicial Authentication" promulgated by the Ministry of Justice only allows the court and law firm to be the party for assigning and hiring authentication firm.
3. Audios and Videos: This is very commonly seen evidence in marriage and family cases. Such evidence shall be submitted in the form of CD-ROM with the written text of what the conversations are;
4. Originals: The original evidence is generally not kept by the lawyer, copies are good enough for lawyer’s work. This is not a rule just for marriage and family cases; it’s actually a principle in all cases. If original evidences must be kept by the lawyer, the lawyer would issue a receipt to the client listing what original evidence is kept by the lawyer.
5. Evidence collection:
(1) The basic information about marriage: Including pre-marital acquaintance, marriage registration and marriage history of both parties;
(2) The relationship of the spouses: Including the development and changes of the relationship after marriage, the conflicts between husband and wife, the reasons for the breakdown of the relationship, whether mediation has been conducted, the opinions of both parties regarding divorce, the possibility of reconciliation.
(3) Child support: Evidence about who has been supportive of the child, the current situation of the child, the child's own will, husband and wife's opinions and their supporting abilities, whether one or both parties have other stepchildren, adopted children or non-marital child.
(4) Property: whether there is any written agreement between the spouses regarding the property ownership, situation of pre-marital property and community property;
5) Procedural related: Whether one or both parties have sued for divorce, if so, the court verdict, whether any party is during the period of divorce restriction, the court of that case, etc. if there was a divorce proceeding, it’s also necessary to copy the records of the hearing for reference.