Can Text Messages Be Used Against Me in a New York Divorce?
When getting a divorce, your spouse has the opportunity to use text messages sent to them in private against you to control the situation or obtain some type of benefit, like primary custody of the children or a higher alimony payment. Here’s what to know and how you can protect yourself with the help of a veteran Long Island, NY divorce attorney.
How Text Messages Can Be Used Against You in a Divorce
Unfortunately, your text messages to your spouse may not be as private as you thought they were when you sent them. Text messages can be used in a variety of ways to gain the upper hand or paint you in a negative light, including but not limited to the following:
#1. Proof of Infidelity
If you are having an affair, or are even just suspected of cheating, your text messages could be used as evidence against you in a divorce. Even if your spouse can’t prove that you’ve been unfaithful, simply the suspicion of infidelity can be enough to damage your relationship and give your spouse an advantage during the divorce.
#2. Evidence of Financial Fraud
Text messages can also be used to suggest you may be committing financial fraud against your spouse. For example, if you are hiding assets or income from your spouse, or if you are spending marital funds without your spouse’s knowledge, your texts could provide clues to support these allegations.
#3. Indicators of Other Misconduct
In addition to infidelity and financial wrongdoing, text messages can also be used to allege other forms of misconduct. Your spouse may accuse you of engaging in illegal activity or domestic violence, and your text messages could unintentionally support these allegations. Your spouse may even set you up to say something specific so they can take a screenshot of it for later use against you.
How To Protect Yourself from Unwanted Use of Your Texts
If you are concerned about your text messages being to harm you during your divorce, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
#1. Keep Your Text Messages Secure
Password-protect your phone and only give the password to trusted family and friends, if you give it to anyone at all. You should also avoid storing sensitive information in your text messages, such as financial records or details of a meeting with someone. If possible, you should encrypt your text messages so that they can only be read by the intended recipient.
#2. Avoid Sending Potentially Damaging Messages
Be careful about what you say in your text messages and be aware that your words can be used against you before you click send. Avoid writing explicit or romantic messages that would prove a romantic connection and don’t text anyone anything about your finances or income. Don’t send threatening or abusive messages or even messages that could be interpreted that way, since these can be used to support claims of domestic violence.
#3. Keep Records of Everything You Send and Receive
Keep records of all the texts you send and receive from your spouse in case you are accused of something you didn’t do or in case your spouse says or does something you need to prove in court. Take screenshots of any potentially damaging messages before deleting them, and don’t delete any of your messages. If there’s anything that could be manipulated against you, it’s usually best to just be upfront about it.
#4. Contact a Long Island, NY Family Law Firm For Help With Your Divorce
If you suspect your spouse may use your text messages against you, you must seek legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you on how best to protect yourself and ensure that your rights and best interests are advocated for throughout the process of dissolving your marriage.
Reach Out to Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Today
Understanding how text messages can be used to harm you in a divorce can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for help. Our veteran Long Island, New York family lawyers have the experience and expertise needed to provide you with zealous, comprehensive family legal representation when you need it most. Call now for a consultation to discuss the details of your case at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page.
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