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Custody Case in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

In custody cases, Courts in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey expect and require that parties will co-parent and communicate with one another in the best interests of their children. The most common forms of communication between parents today are text messages and e-mail. While text messages and e-mails are convenient tools for communication between parents, one pitfall is that anything you say via text message or e-mail can be used as evidence in any court proceeding going forward. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have rules of evidence that allow the admission of text messages and e-mails as a “statement of a party opponent”. This means that the other parent may use anything you say against you in future court proceedings. Text messages and e-mails are often introduced as evidence against the other parent to demonstrate that other parent is hostile, uncooperative, and/or violating the terms of a custody order or agreement. If you are going through a high conflict custody matter, it is always best to remember to keep any text messages and/or e-mail between you and the other parent cordial and respectful, even though it may be difficult. It is helpful to remember when writing text messages and e-mails to the other parent that a judge may be viewing the messages one day and will most likely take these messages into consideration when making decisions regarding your child.

 

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