Have you ever sent a text message and wished you could edit it to say something different? Or better yet, take it back as if it never existed? That sounds nice, especially after typing something the recipient could see as rude, disrespectful, or threatening. Apple’s latest operating system update, iOS 16, allows users to edit and unsend text messages as part of a pretty robust release.
While having this extra flexibility with text messages is exciting for people who love it when their phone can perform a few new tricks, utilizing this feature while embroiled in any family law case could have negative consequences.
The role of text messages in family law cases
Text messages can play an important role in your family court case, as they create an electronic record of dialogue that lawyers can use as often exhibits in hearings. For example, let’s think about this in the context of a child custody dispute. We regularly handle cases where one party receives a barrage of demeaning and threatening text messages from the other co-parent. Often, the receiving spouse’s lawyer can pull these text messages and use them as proof of ongoing anger issues or an inability to co-parent in a way that’s in the children’s best interest.
Certainly, this can paint the person who sent them in an unfavorable light, which could impact how the judge views them and what decisions are made regarding a custody dispute.
Because of this new iPhone feature, that information could potentially be lost if the sender calms down and eventually deletes or edits that content.
Therefore, if you are in the middle of a family law dispute, it might be in your best interest to disable this new feature. Here’s how.
How to turn the edit text message feature off –
- Go to the settings on your phone.
- Scroll to Messages.
- Turn off the edit/unsend text feature.
Remember, accurate records are critical in any case, including text messages.
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