Smartphones are supposed to make life easier, right? According to DivorceMag, between 20% and 70% of romantic relationships begin online through dating apps. And in contrast, more and more relationships – including marriages – are ending because of smartphone use, including the use of dating apps to commit adultery. Websites like DatingAdvice even rank the best apps for cheaters. Understandably, many marriages dissolve because one spouse found evidence of undesirable behavior on the other spouse’s phone or social platforms. So when it comes to smartphone use and the content or history found on your spouse’s cell phone, how is your divorce process affected?
Because Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, you don’t have to prove that your spouse committed adultery or did something else wrong in order to file for divorce. You simply have to say that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
So, what about the incriminating evidence found on your spouse’s phone? While Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, you can still use your spouse’s behavior as grounds to get the settlement you deserve. In Missouri, you do have the option to file for a contested divorce as opposed to an uncontested divorce. As its name implies, a contested divorce means that you and your spouse do not agree on every aspect of the divorce outcome and settlements.
Just because evidence of infidelity is not necessary to file for divorce in Missouri, it can often impact decisions regarding alimony, division of assets, child support, custody, and visitation. In fact, HG.org Legal Resources says that the two issues that couples fight over the most during divorce proceedings are custody of children and division of marital assets. And HG.org Legal Resources goes on to say that these are two prime areas where cell phone history can come into play, as “lawyers will use any information that they can find throughout the cell phone history to try and prove if there was an affair, abuse, violence, unstable behavior, or extravagant use of the marital assets.”
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to start spying on your spouse. Public dating profiles and social platforms are fair game because they are available for anyone to see, but the law is tricky when it comes to the legality of obtaining information on another adult’s personal devices. Seek the advice of a qualified divorce lawyer on how evidence can be lawfully used.
Are you going through a divorce in the St. Louis, MO area? Do you believe that your spouse might be responsible for adultery, unstable behavior, financial infidelity, abuse or other crimes? it’s time to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer about getting the justice you deserve! Barbara Behrens can help you fight for the marital assets, child support, and custody rights that should be yours. Call the Behrens Law Firm at 314-786-3263 or contact us online!
Behrens Law Firm LLC
75 West Lockwood Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119