With sophisticated computing technology and features which far surpass a basic cell phone, Smartphones are the wave of the future. But are they also the folly of the many going through a divorce?
Smartphones are basically hand-held computers which store upwards of 30 gigabytes of information. Emails, contact information, text messages, social media applications, memos, reminders, calendars, voicemails, photos, and more. Many phones can be accessed as easily as swiping across the screen. Even with advanced security features, some individuals can easily access the information stored on a Smartphone. This information can also be used as evidence in a court of law.
With a large storage capacity and the combination of cloud storage, there is a vast amount of information readily available to those who know how to access it, and to those with a warrant to obtain it. Despite the red flags, many leave themselves vulnerable. For those engaging in activity that a spouse would find unacceptable, it is hard to hide clues when using a Smartphone. A suspicious spouse can easily find a way to collect the information they are looking for.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been a significant spike in evidence from Smartphones being used in divorce proceedings. The most significant is found in text messages and emails, then call history, internet search history, and GPS location tracing.
The best advice a lawyer will give you, is to never allow yourself to be fooled by the “security features” Smartphones offer. Do not use your Smartphone for any purposes that you are not fully prepared to have made public. Do not use your Smartphone in a way that you are not prepared to have your spouse made aware of. Years ago it was, “Do not put pen to paper.” Now, it is, “Do not tweet if you do not want little birdies talking”.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.