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Are emails valid as evidence in divorce cases?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Divorce

Evidence comes in many forms, and even emails could find their way into Texas divorce proceeding records. When someone sends an email, an attorney could request copies. Reasons for requesting emails vary, but they often serve as proof of a claim. The same might be true of other electronic communication.

Emails as evidence in a divorce

Not every divorce ends in an amicable settlement. A complicated and bitter divorce could drag out in a courtroom, and not all parties may be truthful when presenting themselves. An email from a brokerage house would reveal when someone has an account he or she tried to hide. Electronic messaging might also prove someone committed adultery, is abusive, or otherwise mistreated a spouse.

In child custody hearings, both parties could seek sole custody. Emails, instant messages, texts, and other communications may reveal a neglectful parent or one prone to mental cruelty. The contents could even indicate financial troubles or substance abuse issues.

While someone may make claims about his or her behavior and intentions, electronic messages or other documentation might reveal the true story. A “caring parent” won’t send scores of mean-spirited emails to a child.

Procuring the evidence

An attorney may send a notice informing a spouse to preserve electronic communications. Destroying the messages could then lead the spouse to legal troubles. The attorney’s client may have copies of emails sent to them, and retaining those emails may help a case.

Making copies of messages through screenshots and other means might be helpful. It would be unfortunate if evidence ended up lost or destroyed before being entered into divorce proceedings. One incorrect click could delete an entire text message history, so copies may prove valuable.

An attorney might collect a significant amount of evidence before a divorce case. The attorney could then enter the evidence into the record when proceedings commence.