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Can I use these emails as evidence during divorce?

Santa Cruz, CA |

The computer is a family computer (all 3 kids use it, myself, and wife) located in the living room. The computer is technically mine, as I was the buyer, as well as the internet service attached to the computer. My wife was having an affair with another man (local man) & many of the conversations (sexual as well) were stored in HER email. The email is ALWAYS logged in, there was no hacking involved, I didn't even need to put her username/password to obtain emails, I simply logged onto her account I created on the computer (each kid has they're own account as well) & her emails instantly popped up (thunderbird).

The emails show evidence of all sorts & I would like to use them against her in court for our divorce so I can have a better chance at gaining custody of my children.

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Filed under: Divorce Evidence
Attorney answers 3


Yes, you can use the emails. But make sure that you disclose them in discovery so that your wife will have a chance to object.

You can also use the emails to impeach her credibility - even if the Court rules that they are inadmissible. To play it safe, you should do this before trial by asking her about the subject matter / affair during her deposition. If she admits to the facts stated in the email, then their introduction at trial won't be as high a priority. If she does not, then you can confront her with the emails to impeach / challenge her credibility and can attach them as exhibits to the deposition. The lawyers can then fight over their admissibility in motions in limine before trial. Note that the Judge will then be made aware of the emails' content. It is very hard to unring the bell.

I had a case in which an opposing party illegally taped my client. We got the tape excluded, but could not deny its contents when asked under oath about what was said in the underlying conversation. Even excluded items can be used for impeachment purposes to challenge a party's truthfulness.


You can use emails but you are going to have to testify how you got them and that they are the real emails.

Arnold & Wadsworth


yes you can.