While it is a general principle, firmly established in the interests of justice, that the best evidence capable of production shall be required, this rule in no way conflicts with the admission of secondary evidence of a lost instrument, even though it be one which the law requires to be in writing; for, if the instrument were lost without the fault of either party, or if it were wantonly destroyed or secreted by one, it would be a manifest subversion of justice to deny oral proof of its contents after satisfactory proof of its loss or destruction. Thus, a party may introduce an incomplete and unsigned prenuptial agreement as evidence that a written prenuptial agreement once existed.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia.Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com