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Cheating spouse? Recover text message evidence

Technology has made a big difference in the ways in which we communicate with one another. Most of us use text messages sometimes in lieu of phone calls and email. But those same handy text messages could potentially wind up as evidence of infidelity in a divorce case.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a survey that indicated text messages are one of the primary kinds of electronic evidence used in divorce litigation.

But there are caveats regarding their usage. Bypassing a spouse's security access code can make the texts inadmissible as evidence, one computer security executive warns. Using the example of a locked suitcase versus one left open, he says that with the former "there is an expectation of privacy."

A computer forensic security expert may be able to assist divorcing spouses with legally retrieving a mate's text messages. The window of retrieval from the phone provider's servers is only a couple of weeks, and unless the divorce petition has been filed, the company cannot legally access the account. In some cases, it may be possible to retrieve deleted texts, but it is much more difficult and time-consuming. The technician may be able to extract deleted texts using Paraben Device Seizure, Sim Card Seizure or BitPim.

But the easiest way is to give the device to the tech to analyze and extract evidence. The benefit of a professional forensics examination is that the time and date of any incriminating texts will be established, which can prove infidelity. The technician can be subpoenaed to testify to his or her method of extracting the information.

Text messages can be vital components to a successful divorce case. Having proof of a spouse's infidelity can open the door to future spousal support payments. Receiving spousal maintenance can make quite a difference in one's standard of living post-divorce.

Source: tipsofdivorce.com, "Use a Pro to get your Ex’s Texts," accessed May. 22, 2015

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