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Think your smart phone is off limits during a divorce? Think again. That baby is a treasure trove of potentially damning evidence, and your soon-to-be ex may be entitled to see it.
The use of smart phones during divorce and custody proceedings is becoming more and more common, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Ninety-two percent of respondents report seeing an increase in the use of such evidence in the past 3 years.
That includes text messages, e-mails, call and search histories, and GPS data.
Smart phones and divorce are a natural couple -- phone evidence helps a judge decide who is and is not telling the truth. Text messages can rebut claims that one parent never informed the other of a change of plans. They can alert the court to abusive behavior, affairs and threats.
Call and search histories can provide evidence of child neglect and illegal behavior. Seriously, if you're not a raging alcoholic, why are you looking up the closest bar? At 10 p.m. when you've got the kids and they're in bed.
Once your ex has gotten a hold of your smart phone, there's not much you can do about it. But there may be something you can do before it gets to that point.
If you plan on getting a divorce or entering into a custody battle for your children, talk to your attorney about your smart phone. Divorce can be ruthless, but an attorney may be able to help you minimize the damage your messages may cause.