OMG! Can Text Messages Be Used in Divorce Proceedings?

By Bob Matteucci
Attorney

If you are curious about the answer to this question, it’s time to talk to a divorce attorney. Because the short answer is YES. Text messages can be used as evidence in New Mexico divorce cases. 

If this is setting off red warning lights in your head, you should work with your attorney to do some damage control or preserve whatever message you have that you think is going to bolster your case. The Matteucci Family Law team is ready to help you with this. 

We frequently rely on text message evidence to support or defend our clients in Albuquerque area divorce cases. These messages often provide the leverage needed to broker a deal when a couple cannot forge an amicable agreement on the division of assets and debts, child custody and support, or spousal support/alimony. 

IFYKYK: Text Messages As Bargaining Chips

Gone are the days of smoke signals and carrier pigeons. And once you file for divorce, gone are the days of having your text messages remain private

Text messages and other forms of electronic communication — like social media posts, emails, and voice messages — are important evidence in many Albuquerque area divorces. Not because New Mexico residents must prove to the court their partner is a scumbag and a divorce is warranted (after all we are a no-fault divorce state) but because these messages can serve a bit like bargaining chips when it comes time to negotiate a divorce agreement. 

For example, you might be able to use text messages to show that you have had more responsibility for raising your children and deserve more parenting time and a corresponding increase in child support payments. Text messages can show you are the one communicating with your child’s teachers and coaches, setting up playdates with other parents, and confirming medical appointments. 

Messages can also have a negative impact on your case. Messages between you and your new paramore might be used to suggest that you have been wasting marital assets on a third party, or deserve a smaller amount of spousal support than you would get if you were single. 

If you are worried (or excited) about the impact text messages will have on your divorce, you should make sure to ask your attorney what your next steps should be. Be open and honest with your attorney about your concerns so the proper steps can be taken to best protect you and your loved ones.

FWIW: You Are Not The Only One With Access to Your Text Messages 

If you are getting divorced, one of the things to keep in mind is that your phone is not the only place you can see your text messages:

  • The person or people you were texting with obviously have a copy of your messages. Don’t assume they won’t share your messages with your former partner.  
  • If you have an iPhone, anyone with access to your iCloud account can log in and see your messages. This includes messages deleted during the past 30 days. 
  • Major phone carriers can provide phone records that include information on the frequency of texts to various numbers if not the messages themselves to all account holders. 

This means wiping your phone’s history and crossing your fingers is not your best bet if you have sent or received text messages that could negatively impact your divorce. Instead, you need to talk to an experienced family law lawyer like Bob Matteucci. 

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion

Text messaging is a modern day convenience few of us would choose to live without. But if you are headed toward a divorce you need to remember that these messages are not private, and may be used as evidence in your case. 

If you have questions about what to do now that you know your texts (or your partner’s texts) could be important during your divorce, Attorney Bob Matteucci is here to help. Please contact Bob today to discuss your case.

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.