These days, most people use text messages as one of their primary modes of communication. While this makes communication easy in a lot of ways, it can also provide evidence in courts of all kinds.
Spouses routinely text one another about matters ranging from mundane day-to-day scheduling to financial concerns and disputes that carry over from in-person arguments.
So, if you are preparing to go through a divorce, can you use your text message log to your advantage? What if your spouse has been having an affair, or simply talking to his or her friends about matters that are relevant to your impending divorce? Can you introduce these communications in the California divorce court as well?
Are the Texts Relevant?
California is a no-fault divorce state. As such, neither party has to prove that the other is responsible for the deterioration of the marriage. If the reason you want to submit the text messages is that you want to show your spouse is responsible for the divorce, it’s better to ditch the texts.
The court does not care about fault or why the relationship ended. The last thing you want to do is appear to waste the court’s time out of spite. However, there are many valid reasons for submitting text messages during divorce proceedings. You may want to provide evidence that your spouse:
- Is attempting to hide marital assets
- Commits abuse or neglect against children
- Commits domestic violence
- Neglected child care or support in favor of socializing
- Has an alcohol or substance abuse issue
- Harasses or threatens you
All of these issues and more can affect child custody, restraining orders, and even the separation of assets. Your Los Angeles family law attorney can help you determine if the content of the messages are relevant to the overall case.
Of course, the relevance of any text messages to your divorce will be highly dependent on the contents of your spouse’s messages and their relevance within the context of your unique family and financial circumstances.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that your spouse has an equal right to produce your text messages as well. While choosing not to bring your spouse’s text messages into the picture may not prevent him or her from trying to use your text messages against you, if you bring up your spouse’s text messages, you can be almost certain that he or she will bring up yours as well. While this is likely to be unavoidable to an extent, you can mitigate this risk by ensuring that you do not send any more texts that might have unfavorable consequences for your divorce.
Hire a Los Angeles Family Law Attorney for Help
California divorce proceedings are typically stressful and time-consuming, especially if they involve child custody hearings or a large amount of marital assets to divide between the spouses.
You should always seek the advice of an experienced attorney who handles family law matters in the state of California. Our Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys help spouses throughout Southern California with their legal issues.
Contact our law firm today at 562-439-9001 if you or someone you know needs the help of an experienced family law attorney. We will be here for you when you call. Schedule a free consultation!
We are very central to all of Long Beach, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Newport Beach; and regularly serve all of Los Angeles.
This is intended as general advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Each situation is unique and requires specific analysis of relevant contracts, facts and legal obligations.