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Can my soon-to-be-ex get my text messages or emails?

Dallas, GA |

Not worried about before the separation but after... So was wondering if in Georgia (Paulding Co) they would be allowed by subpoena to get records from my new phone for texts or my email? Especially as it does not relate to them?
It seems that most cellular companies do not even keep text messages, at least not over a couple of days.
But if so, can any "personal" messages be held against me for divorce or custody?? Again, all "questionable contact" would have been after weeks of separation from spouse. (and are not grounds for divorce petition filed, just irreconcilable differences.) I dont think that should be anyones business after they already left! But dont want to affect custody etc. Thanks for your help!

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Attorney answers 2


Strictly speaking all communications which are "relevant" or likely to lead to admissible evidence are discoverable under Georgia's Civil Practice Act. This would include texts and emails. You are correct that many cell carriers do not keep text messages more than a few days and discovery of these can be challenging but discovery of emails is far simpler. They may be obtained off the hard-drive of your computer, even if you have deleted them and electronic discovery is all the rage now. That said, such texts/emails while serving to "inflame" the other party, generally do not substantially alter the outcome of a divorce proceeding, though they can affect settlement. Georgia is a no-fault state and even if they plead irreconcilable differences, they can prove the basis of these based on the relationship. You may want to discuss the particular concerns you have regarding the emails with an attorney who handles divorce so that you can be more specifically advised in this matter.

Nothing in this posting may be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to discuss the particulars of your matter with one of our family law attorneys, please contact us in private.


The short answer is "Yes!" Discovery in Georgia is liberally construed. Now, you can object to discovery efforts by opposing counsel, but it is often the very desire to object that is most indicative of the subject matter being discoverable.

You should rely on your attorney in the divorce to walk you through the discovery process ... and should treat all recorded communications (i.e. texts, e-mail, voice mail, letters, etc.) to be potentially discoverable, and comport yourself accordingly.

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