The Art of the Text
Text messaging has become a quick and convenient mode of communication, and it’s sometimes easier to speak with someone through text than over the phone or face-to-face, especially if it’s someone you will be up against in court. Sometimes, text messages sent between litigants can be useful in custody and/or divorce litigation. However, there are some things you should know when presenting these text messages to your attorney so they can admit them into evidence:
- Your attorney must be able to prove that the text messages you are presenting are authentic, and were, in fact, from the other litigant.
- When wanting to use text messages from your opponent in court, do not program their name into your phone.
- Always write for the Judge. Presume what you are writing will be marked as exhibit “A” as evidence by the other party that is trying to prove you are a) abusive; or b) unwilling or unable to co-parent.
- Keep your texts (and emails) Brief, Informative, Factual and Friendly (BIFF).
- Common pitfalls when texting include anything that can be argued as: abusive, judgmental, or harassing.
- Avoid using any foul language.
- Leave only the phone number of the other litigant on your text message screen so the phone number and the text message correlates.
Let’s be honest, you can assign any name to any phone number that is text messaging or calling you. Accordingly, we suggest you leave the opposing party as an unassigned phone number in your address book so that we can get your text messages admitted into evidence.
If you have any other questions about how to text the other litigant in your case, or how to handle materials you would like to submit to your attorney for evidence, let us know in the comments below. The Law Office of Heidi C. Noll appreciates your feedback!