Internet, Email, Text Messages, and Divorce in Virginia
Internet, Email, Text Messages, and Divorce in Virginia. Ah, the power of the inter-webs. Our “modern era” has created a host of interesting and unique issues for both couples going through divorce and the attorneys who represent them. Can I read my husband emails? Well, maybe. It may depend upon how you accessed them. Can my attorney subpoena my wife’s text messages? Sure, but your attorney is likely to receive only the dates and times of the texts, not the messages themselves. Screen shots of the texts might suffice. Can my attorney recover deleted emails or computer files? Perhaps, but be prepared to pay a computer forensics expert to take the computer apart. What about what my spouse posted on Facebook or tweeted on Twitter? What about websites my husband visits late at night? Is it okay to cheat if I use a service like www.ashleymadison.com? Must I report my cheating spouse on www.cheaterville.com? You see where this is going.
Save the last two questions, which frankly are silly, most of these topics require a detailed discussion between client and attorney. In a growing number of my cases, some of the most useful and interesting materials come in the form of emails, text messages and camera-phone photographs. Whether and how you use these materials can play an important role in shaping the landscape of your family law matter.