Texting has become a normal part of American life. In fact, a report published by CNN shows that approximately six billion text messages are sent every single day, which amounts to around 2.2 trillion texts annually.
When two people get a divorce, text messages can constitute evidence. Many divorce cases are now using text messages to show one partner was abusive or cheating on a spouse. Although it is a prevalent technology, it is one that is still relatively new. People need to understand how this seemingly innocent practice can affect a divorce.
Content of messages
It varies widely from one court to the next about the admissibility of text messages. In many instances where two spouses are on a family plan, they are allowed to review each other’s messages, so it is perfectly legal to use the texts in court.
In the past, attorneys have used texts to back up charges. For example, one parent may claim the other is unfit to look after children because of a history of anger. It can be tough to back this assertion up in court, especially if the other parent seems perfectly cordial. However, text messages can reveal threats or abusive language to solidify the claim.
Proof of infidelity
Additionally, texts help prove one spouse was unfaithful during the marriage. However, this does not play a huge role in California divorces. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning it does not matter why two people want the divorce as long as both agree to it. Proving one person committed infidelity is not usually going to affect child custody or alimony payments.
Texts on a company phone
Typically, judges will not look at texts sent on a company phone. The reason is that those texts are considered corporate property, so they are inadmissible, especially if the spouse stole a password to access them. An attorney will recommend the best course of action as to whether a text requires a judge’s attention.