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Text & Email as Evidence in Family Law Cases

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Text messages and emails are sued as Evidence in Family Law cases often in the last few years. Just today an opposing counsel called and said, I am going to send you some pictures so you can see how your client is behaving. There is was, in tangible form, my client belittling, swearing and threatening the other side. We all have bad days and is one angry text message going to greatly impact you case? Probably not. But at the end of the day, one of the key factors that Judges must consider in determine the best interest of your child(ren) is:

Florida Statute 61.13 (3) (a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.

In an age where it seems there is a record of everything we do, you must be cognizant of how you treat you ex, particularly in text messages and emails. These items may be admissible in Court and may be used against you if they support one of the factors considered in determining your case. Such as the factor described above.

Text messages and emails from you own account may be used and additionally, those retrieved for the other party's account may be used as well. While Federal and State law prohibited unlawful interception of electronic communications, if your ex was rightfully provided access to an account, then the information retrieved may be admissible.

It is important to know that you must be able to authenticate text messages, which is easier if the the numbers appear rather than the stored names on the communication exchange. Also, typically messages are printed and not brought into Court on the phone itself.

If you believe that text messages or emails be used as Evidence in Family Law that could help you case, take steps to ensure you properly back up the information as many time, the device itself is lost, stolen or damaged before the time comes for a hearing.

If you believe your own behavior might not look so great from an outside perspective, immediately stop corresponding through text or email and talk to an attorney about the messages that concern you. Our office is happy to offer free consultations on these issues.

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Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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