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Smartphones used as evidence in many divorce cases

Way back in August, we wrote a blog post about the dangers of posting sensitive information on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter when you are in the midst of a divorce or other family law case. In short, we gave this advice: don't post anything online that you wouldn't want read out loud in court in front of the judge deciding your family law case.

So if you are following that advice, you may be sticking to your smartphone or email to discuss and vent about your family law case. However, that may not be safe either. According to a recent survey of divorce attorneys in Georgia and throughout the country, smartphones are playing an increasingly common role as evidence in family law cases.

In the survey, which was conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 90 percent of attorney respondents stated that they have seen an increase in the number of family law cases that use evidence from smartphones in the last three years. About 95 percent reported seeing an overall increase in the use of text messages as evidence during that same period.

Survey respondents reported that those text messages are by far the most common form of evidence taken from smartphones in divorce cases, with 62 percent of smartphone evidence used in family court in the form of a text. E-mail was the next most common form of evidence at 23 percent, followed by phone numbers and call histories at 13 percent. Internet and GPS search histories made up 1 percent of commonly used smartphone evidence.

Source: AAML, "Lawyers Finding Divorce App in Smart Phones," Feb. 8, 2012

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