Family law disputes are amongst the most sensitive cases presented in the Australian courts. Digital forensics is becoming a necessary tool for supporting claims made in family court. Whilst digital forensics is more commonly used by the defence or prosecution in criminal investigations, it holds some merit with family law cases as well. From divorcing parents who are fighting for child custody to protection orders against domestic violence, having access to the right kind of digital evidence can bolster your case.
What is digital forensics?
Forensic science has long been used in court cases in support of the defence or prosecution in criminal and civil cases. It involves the collection and processing of trace evidence such as hair, skin or blood found at the scene of a crime. In today’s digital age, the kind of evidence and the method by which it is collected has changed. Known as digital forensics, it focuses on material and information found on digital devices such as desktop computers and mobile devices. Deleted files and emails are amongst the most common types of data recovered by digital forensics.
The value of digital forensics for family law
Digital forensics is a valuable tool for family law cases. Emails, texts and even online searches offer an insight into a person’s behaviour and motivations. For instance, if you were seeking sole custody of your children due to suspected abuse from a former partner, digital forensics might be quite helpful in proving your case.
Another example is protection orders against domestic abuse. If a current or former partner is violent or abusive, following their trail on social media and any digital communications they have had with you can offer evidence of the alleged abuse needed to secure a protective order.
Contentious divorce cases headed to family court also can benefit from digital forensics, especially where accusations of infidelity are involved. SMS messaging, emails and social media are amongst the digital assets leveraged to help support a claim of infidelity.
What kinds of evidence are collected via digital forensics?
We have already touched on digital communications such as emails, texts and internet search histories. Whilst they are amongst the most common types of digital forensics collected and analysed, they are not the only digital evidence that can prove helpful in family court proceedings. Other evidence can include:
- Videos, photos and audio recordings such as voice mails
- Social media communications, including those from Snapchat and WhatsApp
- Social media account activity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Examination of mobile phone apps, including the recovery of deleted apps
Calling in the experts
Law In Order offers world-class digital forensic solutions. Our team of experienced global forensic experts uses state-of-the-art technology to effectively identify and preserve data and documents. We meet all regulatory requirements and practise standard collection methodologies and chain-of-custody guidelines to ensure all data we retrieve is admissible in family court. Contact us today to schedule a hassle-free consultation.