How to Preserve Text Messages for Divorce Court


As a twist on an old saying goes, “Dance like nobody’s watching, and text like your messages will be read in court someday.” Because they just might.

In family court, parties frequently have to prove what information has been exchanged between spouses. According to reports, in 2018, 81 percent of American adults texted monthly, sending or receiving an average of 32 text messages a day. That’s 11,680 texts per person per year! But while printing out emails is easy, documenting a text message conversation will take a bit more work.

It is important when going through family law litigation that you discuss with your attorney the best method for you to preserve your text messages if they are important to your case. Here are some of the available options that work for most mobile phones.


An easy way to capture messages is to simply take a screenshot. Here’s how to do that on most Android and iPhones.

iPhone 8 as well as the iPhone X: Bring up the text message that you want to document. Press and hold the Side button on the right side of the iPhone. Click the Volume Up button at the exact same time. (This replaces the Home button step from previous iPhones.) The screen will flash white and you’ll hear the camera shutter sound.

Android phone: Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds. Hold down the power key until a screen appears and tap Take screenshot.

This works great for capturing a few messages. If you need to document a long exchange, however, it may take quite a few screenshots to capture it in full. In that case, you’ll want to consider these options.

Copying Whole Conversations

Follow these instructions to copy an entire text conversation from an iPhone. Afterwards, you will want to find the PDF on your computer and print it.  There are also many apps that can be used for this task.  We use Decipher Text.

For an Android phone, there are numerous free or inexpensive apps that can transfer text messages to your computer. The SMS Backup & Restore app is free, and downloads whole conversations as emails to Gmail. The pro version is $4.99.

With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today for any questions or to set up a consultation.