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The role of technology in Mississippi divorce

It is almost impossible to go out to dinner, visit the grocery store or conduct any other daily activity -- regardless of how mundane it may be -- without seeing multiple people using a smartphone or some other wireless device. As technology improves, more people are using these devices to view the daily news, play games, communicate with others and to navigate from one point to another. Perhaps not surprisingly, information from these devices are also playing a larger role in Mississippi -- in divorce court and other issues involving family law.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recently conducted a survey, asking its members questions regarding the use of data derived from wireless devices as evidence in divorce or child custody proceedings. Approximately 97 percent of the lawyers who responded to the survey indicated that they have observed an increase in such data used as evidence over the course of the last three years. One attorney even stated that social media is used in almost all of the cases she saw involving child custody.

Because texting and interacting with people on Facebook has become entrenched in how many live, some may overlook the permanence of such communications. Even attempts to delete information may be unsuccessful due to the fact that little of this form of communication is ever truly deleted. Many attorneys recommend foregoing social media and texts during the course of family law proceedings.

Seeking a divorce or trying to agree on a child custody agreement is often a stressful time for people in Mississippi. For some, it may be easy to vent their frustrations on social media. However, as this recent survey shows, posts could easily end up as evidence in court. Foregoing texting and Facebook, for example, could help ensure that conversations taken out of context do not wind up being twisted against someone.

Source: dispatch.com, "Technology potent tool in divorce cases", Rita Price, June 14, 2015

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