Can Text Messages Be Used in Court During a Michigan Divorce?
Texting is an easy, wonderful way to communicate, but some text messages can come back to haunt their sender. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to understand that text messages can be used in court, and they could impact the outcome of your case.
Text Messages Can Be Used in Divorces For Certain Purposes
During your divorce proceedings, you may need to obtain evidence to strengthen your case. Text messages are often useful evidence, but they are only admissible for specific reasons.
Michigan Is a “No-Fault” Divorce State
Divorces in the state of Michigan are “no-fault,” meaning you don’t have to offer proof as to why you’re seeking a divorce. Essentially, no one needs to point the finger at anyone.
Because Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, neither spouse has to procure evidence, including text messages, to prove anything.
Situations Where Text Messages May Be Used
Although no one needs to be at fault for the ending of a marriage, there are situations where evidence could be useful to help prove pertinent details. Text messages could be used in court for several reasons, including the following.
Property Division and Finances
Michigan is an equitable property state rather than a community property state. This means that judges divide property fairly rather than splitting everything 50/50 between spouses.
Determining how to fairly divide property requires a judge to consider several details, which include spousal misconduct. If one spouse mismanaged finances and assets, exerted control over marital property, or tried to hide assets, text messages proving any of these circumstances could serve as vital evidence.
While you don’t need to prove adultery is the cause of your divorce, providing evidence of an extramarital affair could impact your case in other ways. For example, adultery could affect a judge’s decision regarding whether one spouse should pay alimony and how much.
Proof of domestic violence may be necessary if you’re trying to get a restraining order during your divorce. Additionally, proof of abuse could be particularly helpful if children are involved.
If you and your spouse share children, a judge can decide custody arrangements. You can provide text messages in court to help the judge decide, especially if the text messages show your spouse’s inability to be a fit parent.
Be Careful What You Text
Seeing as text messages can be used in court, it’s important to watch what you say. Divorces can be stressful and emotional, causing spouses to say things they sometimes don’t mean.
While you can’t control what your spouse says, you can control how you communicate with them. Always text as if your messages could be read aloud in court one day.
A Michigan Divorce Attorney Can Represent You During Your Divorce
Divorces can be overwhelming and messy; you don’t want to do it alone. As soon as you’re ready to proceed with your divorce, consult a lawyer.
The legal team at Gucciardo Family Law has years of combined experience providing exceptional support, guidance, and representation to clients going through divorce. When you need a skilled divorce attorney, contact our firm to schedule a consultation.
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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.