In the past, evidence of marital misconduct was often hard to come by. Divorce attorneys were usually forced to rely on the he-said/she-said statements of the parties or the testimony of others who may have caught glimpses of wrongdoing.
Things are different in modern divorce litigation, primarily due to technological advances in smartphones and social media. Evidence in divorce cases is now more accessible and plentiful than ever.
Here are some of the notable ways technology can impact your divorce case.
Texts and Emails
Text messages and emails memorialize your conversations, even if you delete them.
If a spouse is engaging in infidelity or speaking ill of his or her partner, texts messages often leave a paper trail. Attorneys often subpoena phone records in modern divorce cases, and deleting messages doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t be recovered. Furthermore, any message relayed by text or email to a partner in anger is sure to be provided to his or her attorney and used in court.
Social media broadcasts your actions to the world, even if you tweaked your privacy settings.
One of the first things many divorce attorneys ask their clients about today is posts on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat can provide a bounty of evidence on relevant marital behavior. These social media platforms have privacy settings to limit the sharing of posts to certain friends, but there are workarounds. The entire point of social media is for text, pictures, and information to be broadly shared, and all it takes is one person with access to provide a divorce litigant with significant evidentiary ammo.
Your movements can be traced, even if you never knowingly authorized it.
Many are surprised to learn that devices such as an EZ-Pass or your smartphone may keep track of your location even if you didn’t intend it. If you use Google Maps for GPS, for example, you may be unaware that a log of your locations is kept within your Google account. If a spouse has access to such an account, he or she can potentially have a comprehensive record of your movements and locations. This type of evidence (combined with text messages and emails) can have many uses in a divorce case, such as proving desertion or adultery.
To avoid pitfalls in your divorce case that could cause you even more headaches, follow these simple rules when it comes to technology:
- Review your social media and cloud accounts’ privacy and security settings
- Don’t use Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram during your divorce proceedings
- Never accept Facebook friend requests from people you don’t know, and advise your family and friends to do the same (this would allow the person to gain information about you)
If you are considering a divorce in North Carolina, let an experienced, knowledgeable attorney guide you through the process. Give SeiferFlatow a call at 704-512-0606 to set up a consultation.