How Digital Forensics Can Be Used In Family Law Cases

Digital Forensics and e-Disclosure can play a pivotal part in family law and divorce proceedings, combining both the usual analyse-and-display techniques with other findings that many people do not initially realise are possible.

Here, we have created a small summary of some of the many areas of assistance that can be provided to help in cases in a highly specialised field.

Recovery and Analysis of Text and Voice Messages

Establishing if any imposed communication restrictions have been breached can be achieved by recovering and analysing conversation histories on mobile devices. This form of investigation can cover both regular text-based communication methods, telephone calls, voicemail and other messaging services such as WhatsApp and social networking accounts.

“Who was in contact with whom?” and “when?” is one of the first questions that need answering, especially if communication restrictions have been put into place or actions that could be considered as harassment have occurred. Further questions often build from this: “was the call missed or picked up?”, “was a voicemail left?”, “how long was the phonecall?”, “was Skype used?”  and “was any keylogging software installed?”

Interrogating Chat Applications

Extracting information from chat applications including iMessenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger etc. is an efficient way of getting results, especially if any incriminating messages may have been deleted or threats made via one of the many messaging services available across all platforms. Some cases even include instances of bribery or communications that reveal hidden financials and assets that prove invaluable in divorce settlements.

Recovery of Complete Internet History

Analysis of complete internet histories to establish what websites have been viewed across both mobile devices and traditional desktop and laptop computers can provide an invaluable insight into the activities conducted by an individual. It can also build a picture of the user’s character (gambling/pornography addictions and interests) or establish daily routines that could show that an individual was at home on the day of a particular event.

Cell Site Analysis and Mobile Phone Mapping/Tracking

Mobile phone mapping/tracking using cell site analysis to determine the location of an individual at any given time can provide unique data that helps to establish if any restraining orders been broken. With an appropriate court order, the telecoms companies can provide the location of the cell tower that handled any call or text message within the last twelve months. This information can be used by IT Group as the basis of a radio frequency survey to confirm the whereabouts of the mobile phone user at the time of the activity.

IT Group has worked on a number of Family Law cases where credible digital evidence was critical. With a wealth of experience and the appropriate forensic tools, IT Group is able to collect, analyse and preserve electronic evidence from a range of devices, providing FPR Part 25 compliant expert reports as needed. For more information contact us on 0845 226 0331 or email