Study: Cellphones capturing key evidence in divorce cases

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cellphones do a lot more than make calls these days. Most have the ability to send text messages, emails and even take pictures. This technology has made a big impact on many aspects of society, including divorce.

While divorce in the past typically involved a lot of he said/she said, divorcing couples today can often provide written documentation straight from their cellphones to support their allegations. This evidence is being used to prove everything from adultery to perjury.

In fact, a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 92 percent of divorce lawyers said that the number of cases using evidence taken from cellphones has significantly increased over the past three years.

“In particular, text messages can often be the most incriminating pieces of evidence because they are regularly composed at the spur of the moment and can reflect raw emotions,” the president of the AAML said.

The survey by the AAML, which is a nationwide group made up of 1,600 family law attorneys, also found that 94 percent of lawyers said that text message evidence had increased in their cases.

Perhaps the reason for this is that text messaging has become the primary way many people communicate, and unlike with phone conversations, every word said is saved to the device.

Therefore, before typing a text to an estranged spouse, a person should always consider if the message could make them look bad in court.

The survey also revealed that text messages are the most common evidence used from cellphones in divorce cases, but emails, phone numbers and call histories are also commonly presented in court. GPS and Internet search histories are also being used as evidence, but much less frequently, the study found.

Source: MSNBC, “Divorce lawyers see more phone evidence, especially texts,” Athima Chansanchai, Feb. 10, 2012

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