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Considering Divorce? Be careful what you text on a shared plan

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Divorce

Nowadays, mobile phones are an important resource in re: how people connect with their communities. Devices let someone text their family members or make a call to a client or employer. When someone goes through a difficult time, they will likely rely on their phone to help them tap into emotional support from their closest relationships.

Unfortunately, the impulse to rely on one’s electronic communications for emotional support and processing during a divorce could prove very dangerous. For those who share a mobile phone account with their spouse, what they do on their phone could actually affect the outcome of their divorce.

Cell phone statements reveal a lot of information

Perhaps someone starts rekindling a friendship with their college sweetheart when they realize their marriage has started falling apart because they need someone to listen to them. They may never see each other, but they may text and talk frequently. The person struggling in their marriage may not realize that their spouse could potentially see the record of every phone call they make and could present that to the courts to make them look bad.

In fact, cell phone companies sometimes provide digital access to a record of text messages as well. The exact access typically depends on the service provider, but people can see at the very least the numbers that frequently communicate with each line on the plan. In some cases, an individual can receive the actual text messages sent and received.

In highly-contentious divorces, spouses may request discovery access to phone records and even social media records. Especially in divorces with more property to divide or a lot of acrimony around custody matters, the potential exists for seemingly benign behaviors, such as texting with friends and family, to end up hurting someone’s standing in family court.

Recognizing vulnerabilities helps people protect themselves

From the possibility of social media posts ending up in court to a history of phone calls raising questions about someone’s marital fidelity, there are numerous seemingly benign behaviors that can have a negative impact on the outcome of a divorce. Those who recognize risk factors that could complicate their divorce proceedings and lead to a less favorable outcome, including allegations of misconduct, will have an easier time avoiding behaviors that would look questionable to the courts.

Making changes to how one socializes and communicates is often necessary for the protection of one’s self interests during divorce proceedings. In the event that someone has questions about how to effectively protect their interests, speaking with an experienced legal professional can be helpful.