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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:14 PM
reesser reesser is offline
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Default Authenticating Text Messages ??

How do I get cell phone text messages and cell phone voice recordings tested for authenticity so it can be used in Family Court ?
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:33 AM
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Make sure you do not have the person saved in your contacts list (otherwise the texts come out as a NAME rather than the number most of the time).

Forward the text as an email to yourself and print them off. The TO: and FROM: fields in the FWD part of the message should list the originating and destination numbers. This should be a matter of record as to what the cell phone number is for you and your ex.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:22 AM
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If it gets challenged, the onus is on you to prove, not claim, that the messages are true and accurate. Ultimately this will mean going to your cell company and getting verifications that the texts were sent and received on certain dates and from whom. And I don't know if a cell company will do that for you.

Judges aren't usually tech savy enough to read source code and understand the path an email goes through. In fact I'd say they never are. Showing a printout of an email of a text and they will look at it and say, "OK, that's a message, what's the rest of this gibberish" and your ex's lawyer will just sit and look smug.

Your lawyer probably doesn't do this kind of thing regularly and won't know off the top of their head. You can pay them $300 an hour to phone around or you can look into it yourself.

If this were me, first of all you have make a disclosure anyway, so contact your ex's lawyer, explain that you have these recordings and records. Ask if they will accept that they are true and accurate or if they want to challenge them. Explain that if they want to challenge them and the evidence is relevent, you will seek costs for the expert witnesses. It's quite possible that your ex will see the sense in this and drop some accusations right then and there.

(Note: this sort of thing happened with me. In my case, I told my ex that we had discussed certain issues she was disputing with our accountant back in 2008. She had forgotten this witness, or hoped I didn't remember. She then dropped a slew of connected arguments against me from her response. She didn't want to look like that much of an idiot. Using the evidence this way will be far more effective and cheaper if you can do it.)

I woudn't go into this cold if I was self-representing. If I had a family lawyer I'd want to know that they'd handled this before. Otherwise I would get a consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer and find out what proof the courts would need, how to present it in an clear and simple manner, and the names and numbers of experts that this lawyer uses. I would go from there.

If you're doing this I would presume that it's more important than whether you babysat on October 26th. If you have a serious issue don't just depend on what some guy on the internet says.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:31 PM
Miss.Stepmom Miss.Stepmom is offline
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I just printed off my detailed billing from online which showed the times, then I emailed the texts to myself, printed off the text messages AND took pictures of the text on my phone. Worked for me.
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