Texting has begun to overtake many traditional forms of communication. In the past, seeing someone in person, or sending a letter were needed to talk to someone. Now we can instant message, text and email the people we want to communicate with. In some cases though, the context of these texts can be misinterpreted in a way that they were not intended. In fact, these texts have now become a big component of adultery cases and if you are working with a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, you may have to submit your texts as evidence in a case against you.
Digital proof of adultery
The issue has made headlines in recent years. Texts that you once thought were private can now be used, and many courts are starting to subpoena text messages to see what is inside of them. According to the New York Times, texting a lover can now be like having digital lipstick on your collar. These texts can actually make getting caught committing adultery very easy.
Even if you are using a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC for a divorce that does not include cheating, cell phone messages have been known to cause trouble. This can be especially true if you sent a text message that can be interpreted as irresponsible or threatening.
Let’s say that you and your spouse are fighting over the custody rules for your children. At some point in the argument, you send your ex a heated text about an issue you are both fighting over. If the courts decide that subpoenaing text messages from both sides can help the case, you could find that those messages you sent can be used to portray you having issues with anger management.
When it comes to dealing with a divorce, whether or not adultery is an issue, it is best to not give your ex-spouse more ammunition than they already have. Yes, text messaging is now part of the modern world, but it can easily be used against you to prove that you were committing adultery, or that you have anger issues. Since these text messages can be interpreted in many different ways, it is best to keep texting down to a minimum during this time.
The admissibility of text messages
The jury is out on whether courts should be allowed to use their power for subpoenaing text messages in family law areas. Some experts believe that using these texts for evidence is a big invasion of privacy and should not be something that is allowed in court. However, if you and your spouse share a cell phone on a family account, you do still have a legal right to take a look at the messages.
On the other hand, it could be considered a crime to try to take extracts from a text message from any phone that is not yours. Just like with other criminal cases, the admissibility of evidence is going to be based on the methods used to obtain that evidence.
This is where your family law attorney in Charlotte, NC can come into play. If someone has evidence against you from your affair or proving that you are too “angry” to get custody of the kids, and obtained information from a phone on a shared plan, you may have to fight that information in court. However, if you had those texts on a private phone that was not shared with your ex, then they may not be able to use that evidence.
In some cases, the admissibility of these messages may not even matter. For example, unless you can prove your marital assets were squandered with an affair, it may not matter that you have texts showing that your spouse was having an affair. Most divorces, even ones that end because of adultery, are filed as no-fault to make things easier. It may not matter in court, but you could use the information to strengthen your argument with negotiations that occur outside the courtroom.
If you are dealing with adultery in your marriage, or the courts are subpoenaing text messages from your phone, you will need a family defense lawyer in Charlotte, NC on your side right from the beginning. Make sure to contact us at Remington and Dixon. We can take a look at your case, explain what the next steps are, and help you to understand your rights.