Smartphone Apps that Can Be Used Against You in Divorce
A recent story in the Chicago Tribune highlights an issue that divorce lawyers have been observing for years: smartphone activities are increasingly being presented as evidence in divorce cases. In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 97 percent of attorneys have seen more evidence being presented from digital devices over the past three years.
At M. Scott Gordon & Associates, we regularly see the impact of digital activities in the divorce cases of our Chicago-area clients, with certain apps in particular appearing frequently in court proceedings. If you are going through a divorce, here are a few apps that you may want to watch closely:
Find My iPhone
In the past, people suspecting their spouses of infidelity needed to hire private investigators to affirm their suspicions. Today, all they need to do is reach in their pocket for their phone. Apple’s own “Find My iPhone” app has increasingly found its way into divorce proceedings for its geo-tracking feature. While ostensibly used to find a lost phone, the app can also find use for a suspicious spouse to track movements in real time–and even over the past days, weeks, and months. If you ever feel like you’re being followed, just remember that there is a digital tracking device right in your pocket.
It seems teens and young adults are not the only ones using Snapchat, the popular social media app that offers a way to send messages that instantly “disappear.” Spouses attempting to hide infidelity or other behavior are increasingly turning to the service. Contrary to popular belief, however, messages sent over Snapchat do not disappear entirely, but are hidden in the app’s servers. In divorce court proceedings, records from apps like Snapchat are pulled more often than you might think. In fact, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey cited above listed Snapchat as one of the leading apps involved in divorce proceedings.
While apps like Snapchat have gotten a lot of buzz recently, most digital records used in a divorce involve old-fashioned text messages. Many spouses fail to delete incriminating messages from their phones before and during divorce proceedings. When these records are pulled, they can significantly alter the outcome of a case.
Other Social Media Apps
Activity on a host of other social media apps has also been used as evidence in divorce proceedings. These include everything from photo sharing apps like Instagram to apps associated with traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t want something read aloud in a courtroom setting, don’t post it or send it anywhere online.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney
The digital activities of you or your spouse can significantly impact your divorce. If you have concerns over how smartphone activities could affect your case, contact a trusted divorce / family law lawyer right away. A good attorney will understand how to protect you against any adverse impacts of digital activities on your case.
At M. Scott Gordon & Associates, we have years of experience guiding people throughout the Chicago area through all manner of divorce and family law cases. To discuss your case in a free phone consultation with a skilled divorce attorney, contact us today