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Someone (sorry, cannot recall who it was) posted on here that one strategic way of employing the recordings was to simply use them to refute sworn testimony that your Ex provides. For example, if she says that she never yells at you, introduce tape of her yelling. If she says that she allows the kids to talk with you without interference, introduce recording of her interfering with unfettered conversation. Etc.
That way, you don't have to disclose the recordings upfront, but instead use them to refute and/or rebut her direct testimony, thereby destroying her credibility in front of judge.
It seems like a good strategy.
The whole "wire-tapping scare" you're getting from your attorney is bogus if you were recording your own phone calls and if both she & you were in the same one-party state at the same time, IMHO. However, I'm not an attorney.
CD is fine, but you need each recording written out with a time and date on them. Also label each with a few title words and a number, and have a title page attached. Make sure they are in order on the CD with a pause and identification number with each. Judges uncommonly listen to this stuff, but if it is relevant, it has to be very easy for them to access it or many won't bother.
In addition to the good advice above, make sure that you have the original uncut unmodified copy of the audio with valid date/time stamps. To get snippets of audio for court evidence I used a free program called audacity that makes it easy to capture specific portions of audio and enhance if needed. But you still need the full unmodified version as supporting evidence.
Also keep in mind that audio is easy to understand by you since you know the voices and the events that were captured, but without a transcript the audio might be impossible for someone unfamiliar with the voices to understand what is going on.
+1 for capslocks instructions. Any court-use of the recordings means your submitting transcripts.
It's kinda pricey to have a service transcribe them...you can do them yourself, but be very sure that you simply transcribe the words and don't embellish the transcription such as: * Never using CAPSLOCK to EMPHASIZE a point * Never using any font styling such as italics or bold to emphasize a point * The only emphasis you get to use is punctuation, such as an exclamation point (and then..only use one!!!! ) and in such a case, the voices on the recording better be very obvious that they're yelling.
It can take a long time to transcribe for the non-pro at it...like 3-5x longer than the actual recording. If you can't make out a word, then insert [unintelligible] on that spot on the transcription. In practice, you'll have several unintelligible spots.
Courts hate hearing recordings. Law enforcement hates hearing recordings. Nobody wants to hear them. It's not like Hollywood. Introduce a recording and the other side will pull out a typical bag of tricks to stop you such as: * You only recorded part of it out of context * You're trying to entrap the other person * You're paranoid/controlling/the bully/etc. simply because you're recording (nevermind that the court, law enforcement, etc.....all record and nobody bats an eye about it)
Nevermind that the above is all false and that by somehow you recording caused the other parent to behave badly. But if you're methodical, record always, and use your recording to a good strategy, you can mitigate all those and have the recording (transcript) used.
Your overall strategy has to tell the court a story. * The story must be stupid-simple to follow * The story must not deviate into side stories * The story must show that your proposed plan is better than the NJ's proposed plan. Not that she's evil incarnate..just that your plan is......better.
Proving perjury The above example of using a recording to prove the NJ has committed perjury is one of the best uses. One of the few things the court hates more than recordings is people lying to the court. The court hates to be dissed. However, due to timing, it's not like things are on TV where Perry Mason asks the witness...then introduces the recording. In court, you'll need to submit your evidence well ahead of time (like 30+ days) and the other side gets a copy at that time too. So the other side will totally prep (rewrite) their strategy to deal with the content of the recordings so that they don't get caught lying. However....if there is more than one court hearing over time...then sure...you can prove that NJ committed perjury in some previous occasion....as long as everything stays on the topic of your story.
Proving NJ is a mean-yelling-evil-name-calling-shrew Most all courts don't care at all about this and this would likely be a waste of time.
NJ making admitting to breaking court-orders (or admitting to crimes) This can go under "dissing the court" and possibly perjury.