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Electronic Evidence in Court Cases

An overwhelming amount of the nation’s divorce attorneys are citing a significant increase in electronic evidence used in divorce cases. This includes activity on computers and mobile devices such as cell phones. E-mails, texts, instant messaging, website history can all be considered evidence. While some spouses may attempt to use the Internet or their phone privately to commit adulterous acts, a variety of tools makes their activity readily available and, if properly obtained, court admissible.

Internet browser history is a primary source of this information. A user may think they are covering up their actions, but spyware and other types of software are capable of recording this information. The majority of attorneys reporting in a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) cited e-mail as the number one source of electronic evidence in divorce cases. Texts and other forms of instant messaging were reported as the second-most used in a close race with Internet browsing history.

It is important to acquire this evidence properly in a manner that is court admissible. Digital information is easily altered, and certain techniques are used to insure the integrity of data. Digital forensics are performed to meet these requirements, so it is important to always speak with a lawyer before attempting to acquire evidence on your own.

The same study from the AAML made another interesting discovery perhaps men should take note of – wives are more likely to use electronic evidence than their husbands.