Nancy L. Sponseller

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Cell phone data may be useful in proving cohabitation in Ohio

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.

Legally, it is difficult to prove if a former spouse and recipient of alimony is cohabitating with someone new. The proof of this cohabitation may be necessary in order for the one who pays support to be able to cease paying. But, in order for payments to be able to legally stop, an ex-spouse and the new partner have to be doing more than just living together. For court-ordered alimony payments to end, sharing of bank accounts or joint paying of bills must be shown, for example. Many of these things require a private investigator to research and record, which can be too expensive to justify.

However, monitoring certain aspects of cell phone usage is another way to prove cohabitation. Since many people have their cell phones on all the time and always with them, it is possible to use the location of the nearest cell tower their phone is using to pinpoint the user’s location. The data from the cell phone and tower can be used to infer that the person in question is in a certain area. If reviewed and recorded for months at a time, it lends credence to the idea that this person is spending a significant amount of time at a said residence.

Most of what we do is recorded somewhere. Items bought at a grocery store and the medications one consumes are all tracked. Where someone eats and banks is also information that can be recorded. Cell phone usage follows the same patterns and can be used, especially by police officers, in the same manner. By accessing this information, someone is now able to look at a pattern of use over time and determine where their ex-spouse has been using their device.

A family law attorney may help organize this information and present it in court. Also, the rights and responsibilities a person has in this matter can be fully understood with the help of an attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Using a Cell Phone to Show That Your Former Spouse Is Cohabiting“, Diane L. Danois, J.D., January 24, 2014