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Does your spouse use WhatsApp?

The iPhone and its Android counterparts are remarkable devices. With a good connection, one may speak to another person around the world, and suggest which restaurant he or she should visit for dinner.

Of course, they do much more than that. Sometimes they facilitate the end of a marriage, both in the sense of providing the means and mechanism by which one member of a marriage may arrange meetings and other contacts with someone who is not their husband or wife, and at the same time, provide the proof of that infidelity that ends the marriage.

This happens a great deal, and not just in Manhattan or New York, as a report from Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. They report that almost half of the cases in Italy involving adultery cite to messages from WhatsApp as evidence.

American matrimonial attorneys have also noted a sharp increase in the use of evidence gleaned from social media in divorce cases. Because of its ubiquity and its permanence, electronic evidence, from texts and emails to files a party may believe they deleted from a computer hard drive, but that can be found and used against one as part of a divorce proceeding.

In addition to evidence of infidelity, Facebook posts with pictures of extravagant dinners or vacations or other social media can be useful for financial elements of the divorce, from evidence of spending habits to providing a record of travel.

It is hard to claim insufficient resources for child support or spousal maintenance when there are pictures of dinning in Paris in the background.

With the growing pervasiveness of electronic records of our lives, from Facebook to home security cameras, the evidence in divorce cases will likely come from an app or a network.

Independent.co.uk, "WhatsApp evidence used to divorce nearly half of Italian adulterers," James Vincent, November 10, 2014

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