Divorce's Smoking Gun
Contact: Nathan W.Wright
September 18, 2003
Saint Louis, MO – Divorce is a common occurrence in today's legal landscape. High stake battles over marriage settlements and child custody make an attorney's strategy all the more important. Many divorce lawyers have turned to computer forensics experts to make the difference for their clients. Specialists in computer forensics are capable of finding electronic data on computer systems that often reveals smoking gun evidence against an estranged spouse.
Electronic evidence comes from various locations within a computer. Files remain on the hard drive of a computer even after they are deleted. The reference to the file location is actually what is removed from the file directory. The file then remains on the hard drive for an indefinite amount of time, until it is overwritten by another file. This could be two weeks or it could be two years, depending on the use of the computer and its hard drive size.
Similarly, when a file is saved, the previous version of the file is not permanently overwritten. A new version of the file is created, while the old version remains on the hard drive for an indefinite amount of time.
So, why is this important? Americans are placing an ever-increasing importance on computers but remain careless with its use. Incriminating evidence such as personal emails and letters to other lovers, EBay records of expensive spending habits, secret credit card transactions, and inappropriate content can be the difference in a long, drawn-out legal process and a quick settlement. Such information can be located in word processing files, spreadsheet files, financial management software files, email files, image files, and internet history.
Computer forensics experts are capable of retrieving current and deleted data from areas of the computer that are inaccessible to the average user. The highly volatile nature of computers makes it necessary to hire a professional to document the existence and type of evidence and to preserve it for a potential trial. As proven in courts everyday, a well thought out legal strategy that includes electronic evidence can lead to a more fulfilling tomorrow.
by Nathan Wright