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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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  #1  
Old 05-30-2022, 09:09 AM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Default Text Messages in Court

I apologize if there is already a thread that exists on this topic. Can text messages be used as evidence in court? If yes, what is the format? Is a screenshot of the text suffice? Or do I need to download the texts into some sort of computer program, and if so, which one is best? I am not very technologically savvy in this department, so whatever is easiest and works for court would be best.

Of irony, while I was in court proceedings, my ex insisted that all communication be via email. Since court proceedings have concluded, her behaviour has been remarkably bad and progressively worse (whereby I had thought the dust would settle at some point) and she insists that all communication be via text. Some will say "all communication should be in email format" however I am trying (and hoping for) relations to be cordial and pleasant in the future. Appreciate the advice.

Note: I am not in court but given how my ex resents the outcome of our litigation, its only a matter of time she tries to reneg.
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Old 05-30-2022, 10:08 AM
pinkHouses pinkHouses is offline
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From what I know of a trial in 2016. Pictures of text messages are admissible in court.

I asked ere a similar question recently and was told to back up the texts using a program like SMS Backup, I think there is an electronic key on these so you just can't go and change the messages.
Make sure to take your exes name out of your contact list so their phone number shows up.

No time to look up threads started by me but it is there, I recall Tayken and Janus giving replies.
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Old 05-30-2022, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brampton33 View Post
I apologize if there is already a thread that exists on this topic. Can text messages be used as evidence in court? If yes, what is the format? Is a screenshot of the text suffice? Or do I need to download the texts into some sort of computer program, and if so, which one is best? I am not very technologically savvy in this department, so whatever is easiest and works for court would be best.

Of irony, while I was in court proceedings, my ex insisted that all communication be via email. Since court proceedings have concluded, her behaviour has been remarkably bad and progressively worse (whereby I had thought the dust would settle at some point) and she insists that all communication be via text. Some will say "all communication should be in email format" however I am trying (and hoping for) relations to be cordial and pleasant in the future. Appreciate the advice.

Note: I am not in court but given how my ex resents the outcome of our litigation, its only a matter of time she tries to reneg.
The simplest solution is to move to a parenting communication app that documents everything, like Our Family Wizard and reserve phone communication for emergencies. Sign up for it, and if the ex doesn't want to pay for it, pay their portion as well. This will save you a boatload of headaches in the future.
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:09 PM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
The simplest solution is to move to a parenting communication app that documents everything, like Our Family Wizard and reserve phone communication for emergencies.
The issue is that we would both claim that we are "cordial" with one another, for the most part. Texting works for the purposes of collaboration when we need to....such as indicating someone is running late for a pickup, or communicating info that is sent from school (ie: school trip sign up as FYI). So for 90% of the time, its all good. However, there comes times where my ex will send a snide comment, overextend boundaries, micromanage, or just berate me. I had hoped that with time, harsh feelings would dissipate, however, if anything, they are progressively getting worse.
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brampton33 View Post
The issue is that we would both claim that we are "cordial" with one another, for the most part. Texting works for the purposes of collaboration when we need to....such as indicating someone is running late for a pickup, or communicating info that is sent from school (ie: school trip sign up as FYI). So for 90% of the time, its all good. However, there comes times where my ex will send a snide comment, overextend boundaries, micromanage, or just berate me. I had hoped that with time, harsh feelings would dissipate, however, if anything, they are progressively getting worse.

If you ignore her unnecessary comments it will alleviate most of the issue. This seems to be a big problem for manyignoring bad behaviour.

As my doctor has always said you cant change someone elses behaviour, you can only change your reaction to it.

So ignore her. You may think by doing so she wins but truly she doesnt because you arent giving her a reaction.

Let it go. There is no point dwelling on 10% of bullshit. Otherwise she is winning because she is getting under your skin!
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brampton33 View Post
The issue is that we would both claim that we are "cordial" with one another, for the most part. Texting works for the purposes of collaboration when we need to....such as indicating someone is running late for a pickup, or communicating info that is sent from school (ie: school trip sign up as FYI). So for 90% of the time, its all good. However, there comes times where my ex will send a snide comment, overextend boundaries, micromanage, or just berate me. I had hoped that with time, harsh feelings would dissipate, however, if anything, they are progressively getting worse.
As per BlinkandImGone and I have probably said it before. Use an online app like Our Family Wizard and have it put in the court order that all communications are to be done via Our Family Wizard.
Exceptions are likely required like "Please check OFW for urgent message", "here for pick up" and that is about it.

Forget about convenience, avoiding texts are going to save you headaches and OFW will also give you logs about when an item has been opened etc. From your posts it is obvious your ex is going to one day say they didn't get a message.

The evidence that your ex is not using email only can be used to prompt the additional clause in the court order and it will drive your ex nuts that you are demanding it too (bonus points if you like em).
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Old 05-31-2022, 01:06 PM
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SMS is not great. It is easily disputed. Just search "send anonymous SMS" on google and see why. I could make up piles of fake SMS that show up on your phone that appear with your ex-partner's phone number. I mean there are open gateways where you can put the text you want to send in web form.

Hell I can setup a different phone and have a whole fake conversation if anyone wanted really take screen shots and claim they are from a specific device.

Court has seen this tactic trust me. Fake emails are also a thing. That is why you see them ordering third party communications management platforms. In fact, in WorkingDad's case the IP tracking proved origin on many things from OFW in the attempted abduction final trial. As well, IP addresses weren't masked in the email so that also helped prove authenticity of communications.

SMS is not trust worthy. Many vengeful spouses have tried to SMS death threats using these services and it takes forensics experts to figure out. Family law cases do not bother and will just toss messages if there is even a smell of faking them.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:17 AM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Not the same as text messages, but hopefully moderators will permit this as the topic is 'admissible evidence'....but what about audio recordings? Are those permitted in court? I know that my ex cannot help/restrain herself so would turn on the recorder on my cell phone at exchanges, and have clear recording of her disparaging me in front of children.

I have read that surreptitious recording is frowned upon and often backfires. But in this instance, it turns my 'hearsay' into actual evidence.
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Old 06-08-2022, 10:09 AM
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You would need a proper transcription done to ensure it's accurate, but it could still be challenged at trial. That said, I typed it out myself and referenced it every chance I could throughout the process. Judges acknowledged it but custody was no longer an issue by trial and it was not needed.
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Old 06-11-2022, 06:37 PM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Can anyone recommend a program for uploading text messages onto computer? Something that will state name, date/time, and message? Preferably something that is user-friendly and simple to use (self-explanatory) as I am not tech savvy...Right now all I’ve been doing is saving screenshots and don’t think it’s the best method.
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