Can a Divorce Attorney Subpoena Text Messages?

Divorce attorneys in Texas can subpoena text message records for litigation. However, determining whether they can be used as evidence can be complicated. You usually only have a short window of time to retrieve text message records from the phone company before they’re deleted forever.

Despite the logistics, text messages are now the most common form of evidence used in today’s divorce courts.

How to Subpoena a Text Message

If your divorce attorney wishes to subpoena your spouse’s text messages, they have two options.

First, they can send a Request for Production of Documents to your spouse. Your attorney can ask for screenshots of text messages, as well as copies of their cell phone bill. This often proves pointless, however, because litigants tend to delete their messages and claim that they no longer have access to them.

Your attorney’s better option is to request cell phone records directly from the service provider. However, in a civil case, the cell phone provider will only provide records of when the text messages were sent, not the content of the texts themselves. These records can still be useful, though, if you’re trying to prove that your spouse is harassing you, or collecting evidence that they’re communicating with someone else.

Invasion of Privacy?

Text messages can also be printed. If you and your spouse share a phone account, you may legally be allowed to access their phone and print their messages.

However, these types of actions should be discussed with a qualified and ethical divorce attorney. If your spouse’s text messages are retrieved in an illegal manner or one that constitutes an invasion of privacy, using them as evidence in a divorce court will not be allowed.

Speak to a Qualified Divorce Attorney

Text messages can be valuable evidence in a contested divorce, but how you retrieve them matters.

Jennifer Espronceda can explain how to legally obtain text messages so they can be admissible.

Call today for more information.

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