The Cossitt Law Firm prides itself on the efficient resolution of your family law matter. To this end, we provide our clients with the suggestions below for organizing and providing us with information relevant to your case. These suggestions are applicable to all types of cases including divorce and child custody cases.
Providing Information to us
We maintain client files in digital format and our clients can save time and money when they provide us with documents and information relevant to their case in an efficient manner. The suggestions below focus on providing us with information in digital format.
When sending documents to us as attachments to emails, please label the file with a brief description identifying the attachment. Also, please label the document with the following date format: YEAR-MM-DD. For example, a Wells Fargo checking account statement dated August 1st, 2016 could be labeled: “2016-08-01 WF Checking ending in 4584”.
Types of Evidence
Text Messages – frequently clients provide us with text messages as potential evidence. This can be done by taking a screen shot or using a digital camera. Once the image has been taken, paste the picture into a Word document, resize the picture and type some notes to put the text message in context. Prior to taking the screen shot try to reduce the size of the text to include as much text as possible in each image. Make sure you include the date of the text in the picture. Also make sure you include the entire conversation as cherry picked conversations without both sides of the discussion may not be admissible.
Emails – forwarding emails to us for informative purposes only is just fine. However, if you think the email could be used as an exhibit at any point in your case, you should print the email to PDF format and email the PDF to us. This can be done by selecting print, and instead of choosing your printer in the printer list, choose the PDF. Again, make sure you include the entire email chain.
Financial Information – bank records, retirement accounts, and paystubs are just a few examples of the types of mandatory financial disclosures nearly every family law case requires. When sending these types of documents, please make sure you do not place any marks or notes on them. Send us a note outside of the scanned document if needed.
Voicemail – When recording voicemail messages, the voicemail “envelope” should be included. The “envelope” is the automated voice that plays before or after each voicemail message. The “envelope” details the time and date that the voicemail message was received, as well as the phone number that left the message, and other such details related to the voicemail. Preserving the “envelope” is necessary for admissibility of voicemails in court.
- Do not mark up the document with any notes, as we need clean copies. If notes would be helpful then provide two copies of the document, one with your notes and one clean copy.
- The preferred file format is PDF.
- Ensure all of the pages were scanned by double checking the digital file.
- Name the file as detailed above.
Organizing Your Digital File
However you maintain your digital files, you should ensure they are secure and accessible to you only. There may be large amounts of information to store, and our suggested file structure below is available for download here.
You can arrange the information surrounding your case into the following folders:
Within each of the Financial folders the following subfolders may apply:
If you have any questions about our guidelines and recommendations above, please do not hesitate to contact your paralegal or attorney.