Steps to Take Regarding Technology During a Divorce
The United States Census Bureau reports that that 83.8 percent of United States households reported computer ownership. Seeing as a New York Times’ investigation reveals that 40 some percent of couples may divorce, technology is likely available to many of these couples. During a divorce, there remain certain techniques that couples should utilize to minimize the negative impact that technology can have. In a recent study, of all the lawyers questioned, 97 percent replied that there has been at least some increase in the last three years in the number of divorce cases that involve evidence gathered from a wireless device. Text messages were the number one type of evidence used, representing 46 percent. Emails, meanwhile, account for 30 percent of the technology used. Above all, couples should know that communication can be preserved, printed, and used at trial. It is recommended that couples follow these steps during a divorce:
- Collect Records. Keep all electronic communication with your spouse. If your spouse ever sends emotionally charged emails, these can be used as evidence in your case. You may also, however, be required to collect all of other emails sent by your former spouse as well. As a result, it is not a bad idea to begin collecting email immediately.
- Don’t Believe That Only Your Friends Can See Your Social Media Posts. Avoid posting revealing pictures on Facebook that might include you kissing someone new or partying with alcohol. Facebook is also not private, even if you restrict privacy settings all the way. As a result, the best approach is to stay off of social media during a divorce.
- Don’t Fall for Bait. Watch what you say. Resist the temptation to respond to every communication sent by an angry spouse. It is possible that this communication might merely exist as “bait” to lure you into responding with an emotionally charged, angry response that can later be used to damage your case.
- Phone Call Recordings. Only record phone calls to which you are a party. If you illegally record something and provide it during a court hearing, the witness’ testimony will be stricken despite the content of the recording. Videotaping also carries similar burdens regarding the invasion of privacy. Recording the behavior of others can cross a privacy line that makes the criminal activity unavailable.
- Recording Devices. Besides computers, many other types of correspondence can be recorded, including telephone calls, meetings, and any type of private correspondence through hidden cameras or mobile phone cameras. The more potential evidence that can be gathered, the better.
As technology begins to play a larger role in divorce and make its presence better known, clients more than ever are in need of seasoned and experienced Texas family law attorneys. The attorneys at Conner & Lindamood, P.C. know how to use technology and media during a divorce to best help an individual while avoiding rules that might make the technology inadmissible in a court of law.