How to use Text Messages in Massachusetts Divorce and Custody Cases

In a contentious divorce or custody case, text messages can often be used as important evidence. How can you use them and in what format will they be acceptable to a court? What is the best way you can get them and gather them off your phone so they can be used in your Massachusetts divorce or custody case?

Printing your text messages is important but this can be more difficult than expected. What is important about the information that you present is to demonstrate the time the messages were sent and received and or read. The evidence of what was known and disclosed and when, is an important factor in determining intent around very specific issues and patterns of behaviors.

The mechanics of how you get the messages is going to determine what phone type you use, either iPhone or Android. Each has their different ways of exporting messages with their own sets of challenges.

Many people will think that screenshots are the best way to present this information. That is not always the case because these types of screen captures can be faked or edited using software such as photoshop.

It is best to print these messages. For an iPhone, you can use an iPhone Backup Extractor to get the messages and print them in forensics mode. Also, you can use iTunes to create an archive that you can easily print.

For a droid it can be challenging as well, you can use a SMS Back up app but that is a little harder to integrate with Gmail after recent api upgrades. Some of the most recent versions of Google Pixel allow you to create automatic back-ups. There are also apps available that allow you to export your text directly to PDF.
Depending on your phone system, your carrier may allow you to retrieve text messages and time and date stamps directly from your account. No matter what you use it may require some finesse and overcoming technical issues.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce and reside in Massachusetts, please call Amaral & Associates, P.C. at (617) 539-1010 or visit us at for information about what your next steps should be.

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