Texting, email and social media venting may come back to haunt you in a divorce proceeding. More than 90 percent of attorneys surveyed reported an increase in evidence derived from electronic sources over the last several years.
Texts messages are the most condemning apparently… accounting for 46 percent of all evidence gathered from smartphones and other wireless devices. People often send texts without giving much thought to what they are saying. These spontaneous blurts provide a written record of someone’s thoughts, actions and intentions, which can pack a punch in divorce court.
On the heels of regrettable texts, are revealing emails that account for 30 percent of evidence in divorce. Although digital enthusiasts typically spend more time drafting an email compared to texts, people easily fall into a similar trap of open exchange, providing ample evidence in a contentious divorce.
When preparing for a divorce, family lawyers urge their clients not to put anything in an email, a text message, or online. In the context of a divorce, if either party has shared information digitally that is at odds with what they’ve conveyed in testimony or legal documents such as a financial affidavit, the consequences can be serious.
To cover your bases, have a detailed discussion with your divorce attorney to find out what online information can be legally obtained and used in your case. Consider steps you can take to protect your own privacy moving forward.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Text Messages, Apps Increasingly Used in Divorce Cases”, By Alejandra Cancino, July 8, 2015.