Spousal infidelity is an important divorce issue in Maryland. Although Maryland has both mutual and voluntary divorce options, meaning you do not need to prove adultery to have a divorce granted, demonstrating infidelity can make a big difference in the outcome of divorce negotiations. Proving adultery is a way to expedite a fault-based divorce case as well as determine the terms of the divorce settlement.
When spouses cheat, they often create a trail of evidence without even realizing it. For example, a phone call to a mistress can create a record of infidelity that goes back long before the actual termination of marriage. A recent survey indicates that in recent years, divorce lawyers have become more likely to obtain phone records to determine if their client’s spouse has cheated. Text messages can be especially incriminating, but so can phone numbers and call logs.
Smart phones are a big source of evidence because they record and maintain such detailed information. They often have GPS functions that may record the owner’s physical location at all times. They also provide access to the Internet, keeping a history of what websites the owner visits.
Phones are not the only high-tech way to find evidence of cheating. For example, attorneys may subpoena toll-road records to determine a spouse’s travel history. Electronic toll-road tags keep track of each use, and can thus help determine where the driver was at a given time.
Of course, having a particular number saved in a phone’s memory or having traveled to a certain part of town does not necessarily mean one has cheated, but these kinds of things can still hurt one’s case in a divorce proceeding. After all, divorce proceedings are sometimes highly subjective affairs where the impression one makes on the court and the quality of the parties’ arguments have real impact on the results of the case. Whether one is trying to prove or disprove infidelity, it helps to have a knowledgeable attorney who understands the evidence and its implications.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Divorce lawyers find treasure trove of information in smart phones,” Lyra Solocheck, March 12, 2012