The increasing numbers of smartphone owners in New Jersey and around the country is no surprise. Smartphones are cheaper than ever and have all the capabilities of small computers. The massive amount of data and content that we generate from these devices makes life more interesting and convenient for everyone – especially a spouse in an acrimonious divorce.
A report from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers indicates that evidence generated from smartphones is increasingly being used in divorce cases.
“As smartphones and text messaging become main sources of communication during the course of each day, there will inevitably be more and more evidence that an estranged spouse can collect,” the AAML president said.
The AAML president also noted that text messages are particularly useful pieces of evidence because they are written contemporaneous records of a person’s thoughts. Many attorneys will use information from text messages to reveal a spouse’s temper during child custody negotiations or establish patterns of harassment, among other things.
According to the AAML, about 62 percent of divorce cases use smartphone evidence. Evidence from emails is present in a quarter of divorce cases and phone numbers or call histories are used in around 13 percent of divorce cases.
Some experts say that the next frontier in divorce evidence will be GPS data and internet search history from smartphones. Some phones such as Apple’s iPhone keep track of the user’s location. Other phones store information from geo-checkin services such as Foursquare and Facebook mobile. Location evidence could establish that a spouse has a habit of visiting disreputable places or that a spouse lied about his or her whereabouts.
Source: Yahoo News, “Smartphones evidence a boon for divorce lawyers,” Chase Kell, Feb. 12, 2012