Could Fake Text Messages Impact Your Divorce?

As with any legal proceeding, facts are vital during a divorce case. Over the last several decades, the laws have evolved taking Illinois from a “fault” state to a “no-fault” state, meaning that proof of grounds such as adultery is no longer necessary to obtain divorce. For two individuals to request a divorce, only the grounds of “irreconcilable differences” are accepted. Therefore, as far as the divorce itself, facts are no longer as important. For some of the other elements associated with a divorce, however—such as property division and parental responsibilities–false information has the potential to be damaging to any claim.

What Is a Fake Text?

Fake texting services recently made headlines as part of a highly-publicized celebrity divorce. Accusations came to light which included text messages being presented as evidence of guilt. The accused maintained that these texts were “doctored.”  How is this possible? There are several cell phone applications available that are capable of sending text messages over the internet separate from the actual text messaging services available the cell carrier. The user inserts in a phone number to receive the texts, inputs the content, and presses send. Other features of these apps include:

  • Sending multimedia messages (MMS) such as photographs;
  • Receiving a message from anyone; and
  • Creating the impression that text failed to send.

How Could This Affect Divorce Proceedings?

Text messages are occasionally admissible in Illinois divorce courts. If the divorcing spouses have two separate phone plans, a common argument used against the admission of texts is that doing so constitutes an invasion of privacy. However, if the two individuals share a joint family phone plan, the actions on each device are not usually considered private. Admissibility often is directly dependent on how you obtained the information.

It is important to keep in mind that even if the evidence shows your spouse cheated, the information has little impact on the outcome of a divorce case. If the text evidence indicates that a significant amount of marital assets went to extramarital relationships, the result of property division may change. Additionally, in a custody dispute, if you are attempting to prove the best interests of the children and an irate text from the middle of a heated argument is entered as evidence, the court may find that you have anger issues, which could negatively impact your case.

Find the Truth

The actions you take now can directly affect your future, potentially for the rest of your life. If you are concerned about evidence being used to decrease your credibility during your divorce case or are wondering what is acceptable to use in your favor, contact an experienced Orland Park divorce lawyer for the answers you need. Call 708-518-8200 for a free consultation at Kezy & Associates today.