How Heavily Do Lawyers Rely on Technology?
Technology has advanced exponentially during the past two decades. Many different technologies exist today for digital communications, and social media, emails and text messaging sit at the top of the list.
If you are going through a divorce, you should assume that your spouse’s lawyers are monitoring your digital communications, especially if the divorce is acrimonious or aspects of it are contested. Gathering evidence is a fundamental skill used in developing case strategy and arguing a case.
What Kind of Technology Provides an Abundance of Evidence in Divorce Cases?
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) published an article in 2015 entitled “Huge Increase of Texts and App Evidence in Divorces Say Nation’s Top Lawyers: Smart Phones and Other Wireless Devices Yielding Treasure Trove of Incriminating Information.”
An AAML survey of divorce attorneys revealed:
- That 97 percent of AAML members had seen an increase in divorce evidence taken from smart phones and other wireless devices
- That 99 percent cited a rising number of text messages being used in divorce cases
- That 67 percent noted more evidence collected from apps
- That social media sites provided divorce evidence — according to the survey Facebook (41%), Twitter (17%) and Instagram (16%)
- Texts were the most common form of evidence being gathered
How Can Technology Be Used for or Against You?
The following are a few divorce scenarios to consider:
- A wife accused her husband of abusive communications through text messaging. The husband denied that he had ever sent any abusive texts. However, the wife had printed out all their text messages for the past few years, and the printouts revealed that his texts were not only derogatory but that he had also used obscene language to demean her.
- A husband claimed his income was low, but his Facebook page showed him going on lavish vacations with his girlfriend prior to separation from his wife.
- A Linkedin account that showed substantial work experience and history was used to contradict a wife’s statement that she needed spousal support due to having no skills or work experience.
- An investigator opened a false Facebook account with a picture of a sexy woman, and attracted the spouse who up to that point the investigator had been unable to locate. The investigator set up a meeting with the spouse and served the spouse with divorce papers.
If you have questions about technology being used in divorce, our attorneys at Richardson Brown are glad to advise you.