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Mobile phones increasingly reveal infidelity, law firm claims

Date:28 JUL 2008

A Cheshire divorce lawyer says that three-quarters of the marital dispute cases they're currently handling involve a mobile phone playing a part in revealing or betraying infidelity.

Shelley Chesworth of SAS Daniels solicitors says 75% of current actions have been sparked by the discovery of text messages, photos or even videos stored on a phone, or a sudden change in a spouse's mobile phone usage habits.

But she also says that the number of divorces handled by the firm involving mobile phones has doubled in the past three years.

"The obvious sign is somebody getting a second mobile phone - sometimes it's utterly innocent, but if that phone never seems to leave their side, then there's maybe grounds for suspicion," said Shelley Chesworth.

"Secretive or furtive usage is another clue - standing at the end of the garden texting, or maybe sitting outside in the car talking. But the main giveaway is undoubtedly the undeleted text, or stored photo or video.

"Many people are caught out because they make the mistake of thinking their phone is forbidden territory, but if a spouse is suspicious, then these days they will make a beeline for either the PC or the mobile phone.

"If they do manage to get their hands on a phone, and it is locked or security coded, then that is likely to raise suspicion even further.

"If they manage to get into it, then it takes seconds to access texts, photos or videos. By the nature of an affair, texts, photos or videos are usually either very romantic or very lurid in tone and content.

"There is little to confuse a business or family text or picture with one that is associated with a lover or an affair.

"However, there are some much more hi-tech considerations: somebody may think they have deleted texts, photos or videos, but, at one end of the scale, it is fairly easy to analyse usage from a bill, but it is also possible for specialists to recover deleted material - and there is also the possibility of establishing somebody's whereabouts when calls were made or texts sent or received because the networks can record the locations of mobile phones when they are in use.

"If we are in a particularly difficult dispute, we might even apply to the courts for mobile phone bills and records, or even request a mobile phone is handed to us for investigative purposes."