Over 90% of America's premier divorce attorney's have noted the rise in evidence collected from text communications and emails.

Privacy, to an extent, has become a thing of the past. As technology continues to become more and more a part of our everyday lives, privacy becomes less and less applicable. The boom of text messaging and email assists individuals remain closer to family members afar. It assists businesses in becoming more efficient. It helps to make the world a smaller place. In doing so, it has become exceedingly difficult to keep personal messages and business information private. This can be a critical setback when it comes to certain situations, such as divorce.

Text messages are quickly becoming commonplace in the courtroom. All too often, text messages are sent without thinking about the possible aftermath from what was said. Texts are sent while bickering, intoxicated, tired, or just waking up. It is so common to send a text that we often forget, those words are written proof of an ideal, how we respond when we are angry, how foolish we can be, or how petty we can become when we are jealous.

This proof can become evidence in a courtroom. Texting in haste may lead to a judge or jury reading our words, and making a permanent decision based on what they read. Attorneys are advising their clients to use an outside phone line for private communications. A payphone, or a no-contract phone with rechargeable minutes may also be a good way to avoid being presented with unwanted circumstances later.

Emails are also becoming a rich source of incriminating evidence. Emails to clients or business contacts are being used to refute financial disclosures, whereabouts, and other financial information. They are also used to uncover information of a personal nature. Infidelities are being discovered in abundance in the form of an indiscreet email.

During a divorce, spouses quite often check the others inbox looking to uncover any tidbit of information that may be useful to them during the proceedings. In fact, your spouse could employ spyware onto your home computer to record every button clicked, every incoming and outgoing message, and every page visited. Using an outside computer for anything you do not want recorded and possibly used against you later may be a good way to alleviate these issues.

Family law attorneys are quickly adapting to these changes. They are advising their clients of these changes, and directing them to take action accordingly. They are explaining the fact that these text messages may be being sent directly to their spouses attorney to read as they come in, printed, and archived as evidence to be held against them later on.

Cellphone service providers may even be subpoenaed in order to retrieve text messages of interest to the divorce. Computer information can be used against you just as easily.

Family law attorneys are advising more and more to not write anything down that you do not want a judge or jury to read. This is not specific to text messages to your spouse, but to anybody. Do not send a text to a client that you do not want read aloud in court. Do not text a friend unless you are prepared for that text to be read back to you in court. Do not use your home computer for anything that you are not prepared to be shown to the court. In short, family law attorneys are explaining to their clients the reality that what they do in the privacy of their own home may not be so private after all.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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