Text messages and other forms of electronic communication can be used as evidence
Things have changed drastically with the evolution of communication. Now text messages, emails and other electronic forms of communication are acceptable forms of evidence in court.
However, before you start saving pages and pages of incriminating text messages from your soon-to-be-ex, make sure that the context of these messages really ARE evidence that make an impact in your case and not just the typical emotionally-charged texts that frequently take place between people going through a divorce.
Electronic communications that can help your case
Here are some guidelines that can help you determine the kind of communications that can help your case: physical threats, verbal abuse or admissions of wrong doing; texts to the children with hurtful comments about the other parent; texts denying a parent from seeing their children; and inappropriate texts that prove infidelity. Any of these can be used as evidence, however, keep in mind that attorneys and legal assistants bill by the hour, so to reduce legal costs, make sure you sort your evidence carefully and only present your attorney with relevant messages.
In turn, keep in mind that when you put anything in writing to another person, it can also be seen by the judge and opposing counsel, so no matter what – always stay professional. Remember too, that Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, so texts proving infidelity may not have much impact in the outcome of your divorce.
Jeanette Soltys formerly worked with the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) in abuse and neglect cases, giving her extensive courtroom experience in litigating complex child custody matters. She has practiced for over a decade focusing on family law cases throughout metro-Atlanta. Her work has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Jeanette teaches Continuing Legal Education webinars for the Atlanta Bar Association and the National Business Institute. She has earned two CALI Awards for Academic Excellence and received a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO as one of the best divorce attorneys in Atlanta.