One question we are constantly asked is whether emails, text messages, voicemails, and/or social media accounts are potentially admissible as evidence. The simple answer to this question is YES! The E in E-mail stands for Evidence. A majority (if not all) of our litigated cases will include text messages, emails, or social media in some form or another.
We will ask the opposing party to produce in discovery their entire Facebook archive, text messages, and turn over all online communications between themselves and their soon to be former spouse.
That middle of the night text that was sent after a few two many glasses of wine...
The Facebook photo of you your friend posted and tagged you in...
The email from your former spouse asking you to take care of your child...
It’s all potentially “coming in” at trial and the Judge will hear and see every gory detail. Knowing this, here is some advice:
1. THINK before you post on any social media account. Even what seems like an innocent photo or post can later be used against you. Social media accounts have been used to show evidence of adultery, proof of location, and money spending habits to name a few.
2. THINK before you hit send on any email. Assume that every email will be admitted as evidence. Make sure that what is put in writing is something you would want the Judge to read.
3. Same goes for text messages. Be clear and be short when communicating via text messages. People are often more brazen about what they say via text. Assume that a Judge will be reading every text.
Recent changes in the law require that individuals now protect from change and destruction all electronically stored information during the pendency of a divorce case. So make sure what’s out there paints you in the best possible light. As the old saying goes, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”.
In the age of technology, you should not underestimate the impact of electronically stored information on divorces. To learn more about this newly changing and expanding topic contact the attorneys at the Markham Law Firm by calling (240) 396-4373.