Social media, computer, and cell phone accounts during divorce are crucial. This is largely because they are a great source of evidence. It is not uncommon for potential divorce consult to show up with large stacks papers they have printed of conversations they have had with their spouse via:
- Text messages or
- Things posted on Facebook
This might tempt you to delete, destroy, or edit some electronic conversations you have had. This would be a very bad idea and some cases may even be harmful. In today’s blog post we discuss somethings you should be aware of if you are contemplating a divorce or currently going through a divorce.
Text messages are one of the most common forms of electronic evidence in Texas divorce cases.
Spouses frequently send upset text messages to each other. Often, the sender doesn’t think through their words or consider how they might appear in court. These messages can be both embarrassing and harmful if used as evidence.
So, exercise caution with your cell phone during divorce, especially when texting your spouse. If you don’t want a judge or jury to see your messages, don’t write them. Also, be mindful of where you leave your phone, especially if it’s not password-protected. Consider changing your password to something you haven’t used before on all your electronic devices.
Cell phone records can be a great source of information to establish a relationship between your spouse and someone else. If you look at your cell phone statement you can see who your spouse frequently calls or texts. This person may be listed under someone else’s name in the phone itself maybe of the opposite gender.
If you see a number that your spouse calls frequently on the phone statement, then you can try and look the number up on the internet through a reverse phone directory. Be careful using your phone if you plan to call these numbers:
- May alert the other person that you may on to them
- You may not want to have your phone linked to that place or person called
This may be avoidable by using a prepaid phone dedicated to this type of investigative activity.
GPS location services can also be a great source of information. This something you will want to be very careful on using because it can be easy to cross criminal lines. It is best to avoid anything that could be questionable. For, example:
- if your spouse has their own phone plan or has taken measure to keep you from seeing their activity on a shared plan do not break into their device.
- Do not place recording devices or apps on their phone
In Texas, you can record conversations that are actually a participant. Something to be aware of is that your phone records your GPS location. It would be a good idea to learn how to deactivate this tracking. You can find this out by calling your provider or stopping by one of their stores.
Computers and Email
Emails are the second most frequently used source of electronic evidence that I see in divorce cases. Email is often more thought out than text messages it is still often a goldmine of damaging information.
As with other types of electronic communications you need to be careful on how you obtain it in order to avoid criminal prosecution. There can Federal and State laws that you can easily cross. It is best to avoid taking any actions that could be considered questionable. Do not:
- Intercept your spouse’s emails
- Hack their email account
You should be careful to protect your own email communications and be careful what websites you visit. Erasing things on a computer does not necessarily mean they are gone. It is possibly they may be recoverable by a computer tech.
There are all kinds of computer programs that can track everything you have done or visited on a computer. You may not even be aware that it is taking place or installed. It is best not to use any shared computers, phones, or other electronic devices with your spouse.
One of the newer forms of electronic evidence is social media. This has been a goldmine of prejudicial evidence. Facebook has been a great source of finding damaging photos of:
- Drug use
- Gang affiliation
- Child abuse
- Girlfriends or boyfriends etc.
Facebook is also helpful in finding out locations and dates for these activities. A helpful suggestion regarding the use of Facebook during a Texas Divorce would be:
- Do not make harmful statements
- Take or post any questionable photos
- Do not make your social media accounts open to the public
- Adjust your privacy settings and remove “friends” you do not want to see your postings
- Even better, avoid using social media altogether while the divorce is ongoing
Just because you’re separated does not mean it is not adultery. That said, it might be good to check dating sites to see if your spouse has any accounts set up. This has been one way several of my clients have found out whether or not their spouse was on such sites.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them” Today!”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Dos and Don’ts Regarding Electronic Communications in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Ex for Hacking My Computer in My Texas Divorce?
- Cell Phones, Mail, Computers, Spying on your Spouse, and Privacy Rights in a Spring, Texas Divorce
- Do I Need to Change My Passwords for a Divorce in Texas?
- Legalities of spying on a child’s cell phone in Texas
- How Social Media Can Hurt You in Divorce
- Why do divorces cost so much in Texas?
- How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney’s Fees in a Texas Divorce?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
- Can I sue my spouse’s mistress in Texas?
- Confidentiality Laws in a Texas Divorce
Bryan Fagan, a native of Atascocita, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney inspired by John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief.” He is the first lawyer in his family, which includes two adopted brothers. Bryan’s commitment to family is personal and professional; he cared for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s while completing his degree and attended the South Texas College of Law at night.
Married with three children, Bryan’s personal experiences enrich his understanding of family dynamics, which is central to his legal practice. He specializes in family law, offering innovative and efficient legal services. A certified member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Bryan is part of an elite group of legal professionals committed to ongoing education and high-level expertise.
His legal practice covers divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, adoption, paternity, and mediation. Bryan is also experienced in drafting marital property agreements. He leads a team dedicated to complex family law cases and protecting families from false CPS allegations.
Based in Houston, Bryan is active in the Houston Family Law Sector of the Houston Bar Association and various family law groups in Texas. His deep understanding of family values and his professional dedication make him a compassionate advocate for families navigating Texas family law.