Helping Texans with a variety of family law cases, including child custody and divorce.

Dealing with Evidence in Your Case: A Pro Se Guide

by | Nov 11, 2023 | Firm News

hat Exactly is Evidence?

Evidence is the backbone of your case. It’s how you and the other party prove or disprove the facts. Even if you’re representing yourself (pro se), you’re held to the same standards as attorneys when it comes to gathering, presenting, and admitting evidence.

Where Can I Find Texas Evidence Rules?

Check out the Texas Rules of Evidence. It’s your go-to guide for what flies and what doesn’t in Texas courts. But hey, this isn’t all you need. Dive into the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and your local court rules, which might have specifics for pro se litigants.

Are There Different Types of Evidence?

Absolutely. Think testimony, documents, tangible (physical) evidence, and demonstrative evidence. Each plays a unique role in building your case.

Can I Present Any Evidence I Want?

Nope. Judges are gatekeepers. To make it into court, your evidence must be relevant, material, authentic, and not privileged. And yes, understanding these terms is crucial.

Do I Need to Attach Evidence to My Original Petition?

No need. Save your evidence for the big reveal – your hearing or trial. That’s when you present the goods.

When Do I Present Evidence?

Hold off during the opening statement. Your chance to shine comes when you “put on your case” after both sides make their opening statements.

How Do I Get Evidence from the Other Side?

That’s where discovery comes in. It’s a legal information exchange. Familiarize yourself with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure for the lowdown.

Can the Other Side Challenge My Evidence?

Absolutely. Get ready for objections. Common ones include relevance, hearsay, and authentication.

What’s Hearsay and How Do I Deal With It?

Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Generally a no-go, but exceptions exist. Understand them and be ready to defend your evidence.

What Is an Exhibit?

Think of it as a show-and-tell aid. It’s marked evidence for the court and the other party. Courts might have specific rules on marking exhibits, so know your local guidelines.

How Do I Use Texts, Emails, and Social Media Messages as Evidence?

Snap screenshots, print them, label each exchange as an exhibit, and be ready to authenticate them in court. Your testimony will play a crucial role here.

This guide is just a start. For in-depth help, consider consulting a lawyer. And hey, if you’ve got questions, give us a call at 281-407-0961 or drop by our website. We’re here for you!