Indiana Divorce Proceedings Can be Affected by Social Media

February 21, 2012

Social media has become one of the biggest movements in our world in the last decade. People are able to connect worldwide over social networking web sites. Text messaging has been used as one of the easiest and quickest ways to spread a message.

All of these tools have become important in many people's lives. They use them all the time to communicate and for some, they have become second nature. But while Indiana divorce attorneys understand their value in society, they also recognize the danger they could pose in an Indiana divorce.
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A recent story by Reuters suggests that text message evidence could be used against a spouse in a divorce case, which is just another way that the court system is adapting to the new use of technology.

As smartphone technology continues to develop, allowing for instant messaging and fast-moving texting, attorneys say they are seeing an increase in the number of cases where iPhones and other smartphones are cited in evidence of a divorce case. This is according to an association of divorce lawyers.

This follows a previous study from a few years ago, when the group of lawyers noted that there had been an increase in Facebook references in divorce cases as well. As social media and text messaging have become more and more prevalent, it makes sense that lawyers have attempted to use this as evidence to get an edge in court.

While e-mails usually allow a user to re-think what may look like a rant in hindsight, a text message is more immediate. People may be more likely to send exactly what they're thinking or doing via text, whereas an e-mail provides the opportunity to clarify one's thoughts.

Text messaging is the most popular form of evidence that comes from smartphones, following by emails, phone numbers, call histories, GPS and Internet search histories. Not every text message can be printed as easily as an e-mail, but there are ways to do it. Some divorce attorneys think that's why people may be more willing to send a nasty text.

But if a person keeps their text message history for a long time, even if one person deletes the message doesn't mean the other person has as well. Facebook is also a dangerous place to vent because many people can see it and possibly print a screen grab of the page.

These are all warnings for people who are considering divorce in Indiana. It is never going to be beneficial for a person in a divorce proceeding to go on a rant, vent against their spouses or otherwise use these communication tools to contact a person they are divorcing.

This can quickly go from a one-time rant to a long-term headache if the evidence is preserved and used against them at trial. No one is immune to these traps if they are constantly using these forms of technology. The warning is clear -- be careful what you tweet, text or post. It could come back to haunt you.

Highland Divorce Attorney Burton A. Padove offers free and confidential appointments on family law matters throughout Northwest Indiana, including Munster, Lansing, Porter and Crown Point. Call 219-836-2200.

More Blog Entries:

How Do You Stay Sane in A Tough Indiana Divorce?: December 31, 2011

Additional Resources:

Be careful what you text if you're heading for divorce, by Patricia Reaney, Reuters