I don’t practice divorce law anymore, but I thought this article in Lawyers USA was interesting. The article relates the treasure trove of information available on most people’s home and work computers as well as the other sources of information out there. How about GPS histories as to where a vehicle has been, how long it was parked, and so forth? How about proof of business income? When I did do divorce work, I found it uncanny how frequently a spouse’s business failed at the same time a divorce was filed. Examination of the business computer may prove otherwise. Florida, like many states, is a no fault divorce state so infidelity may be irrelevant, but a wasting of marital assets on expensive gifts for a mistress is not. Hidden marital assets and the valuation of marital assets are also relevant.
Unfortunately, electronic discovery is not cheap, but then litigation never is. This article states that the average digital forensics examination runs $4,000.00 to $10,000.00. It is money well spent though if it produces crucial evidence. A spouse who has been hiding assets or who has been undervaluing assets may be forced to settle when confronted with the truth from his or her own computer records.
I’ve probably beat this horse to death so I promise to avoid it for awhile.