Feeling Angry? Think before you Text

by Nancy Kay, LTD Contributor


Is your spouse making you so angry and upset that you've fired off a text to them to get your feelings out?

While texting your thoughts now may make you feel better for the moment, it could cause you huge headaches later if it becomes used against you during your divorce.

According to a March 2012 article based on a survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), " A resounding 92% of the nation's top divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of cases using evidence taken from iPhones, Droids, and other smart phones during the past three years..."

Information from text messages is being used to highlight irresponsible spending habits, problems with parenting, anger issues,  and even providing direct evidence that contradicts sworn testimony made by either party during depositions or at court.

"Text messages can be particularly powerful forms of evidence during a divorce case, because they are written records of someone's thoughts, actions and intentions," said Ken Altshuler, president of AAML.

Some judges are skeptical about what process was used to acquire the texts and some states only accept electronic evidence if it has been obtained by a professional such as a private investigator. However, it is critical to ask your attorney at the very beginning of your divorce how often attorneys in your area subpoena texts to use as evidence for their cases and how the local judges view this form of evidence.  Also be sure to find out what guidelines your attorney recommends that you follow when texting or posting to social media sites to protect your information from being used against you during the divorce process.

Since divorce is such an emotional firestorm, it may be best to avoid texting or posting on social networks online while your case is pending and some people even delete their accounts altogether during this time.

What are your thoughts about the increasing use of texts and social media posts being used as evidence in divorce cases?