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Retrieving evidence for divorce proceedings? There's an app for that!

Engaging in divorce proceedings can be a lengthy, frustrating experience. For those embroiled in a particularly contentious battle with a former spouse, frayed nerves can lead many people to do things they may regret months down the line. Seeking solace from a friend or an escape from stressors, these frazzled folks may engage in harmful activities just by turning on their computers and logging into social media accounts.

Of course, most people don't see the danger in updating their status on Facebook or apprising their friends of daily activities. There are a few situations that engagement on social media is ill-advised. One such situation occurs during divorce proceedings. While it may be cathartic to post an update about the upheavals in your life, call a friend or email a confidant, these actions provide documentation that can be used as evidence against you in court.

Of the myriad locations for data retrieval, here are three places divorce attorneys typically mine for information to build their cases:

1. Facebook

Most people think that their electronic activities are innocuous and untraceable. If this were the case, divorce attorneys would not view Facebook as the mother lode of data. According to a poll conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 66 percent of those questioned admitted to sifting through the website for evidence. Those surveyed reported that Facebook was the best source for uncovering information, which is logical considering the photos and comments posted for all to see.

You may think that your privacy settings prevent others from accessing your account, but there are workarounds that can defeat these measures. Additionally, the court views any evidence lifted from Facebook's website to be admissible because there is no expectation of privacy on social media.

2. Cellphone records

While the navigation applications that are downloaded onto phones are helpful in finding the quickest route during a commute, the GPS system that provides directional support also maintains a record of your location that can be used as evidence in court proceedings. Cellphone call reports can pinpoint the phone owner's whereabouts, and phone numbers that appear on the phone bill can reveal conversations between a spouse and unknown person. Such information may support accusations of engaging in illicit actions.

3. Email accounts

As with the two previous examples, messages sent through email accounts can be printed up and entered as evidence in court. Emails provide valuable information because they are often written at the spur of the moment, revealing unfiltered emotions. Individuals may think that they can expunge records of the missive by placing it in the account's trash; however, documents relayed on the internet never truly disappear. The internet is a vast warehouse of documents for those who know where to search. Chances are divorce attorneys are adept at online data retrieval.

Divorce proceedings can be a lengthy, frustrating experience. There may be moments when you might feel that a phone call, post or email will provide respite from the stress. Please remember that whatever relief this action provides will be temporary and may lead to more turmoil in the future if the correspondence is used as evidence in court.

Divorce lawyers know there are apps for evidence retrieval-they're in the Facebook, GPS and email applications located on your smartphone or home computer. Be aware and type with care.

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
3302 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-302-1265
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