Last week we introduced our series on text messages with a post on how to take a screen capture of your text messages. This week we will walk you through organizing your text messages.
At this point you have a collection of text messages in either .png or .jpg format. You have probably emailed them to your personal email account. Each text message overlaps with the one before it and the one after it so that it is clear that you have not selected points that make you look favorable. There should be a date and time at the beginning of each text "conversation". So now what?
You can send each individual screen capture to your attorney and have them organize it but even if they have their paralegal put it together it is going to be time consuming (translate to "expensive").
The better option may be to do it yourself. We recommend downloading all the screen capture images to your computer and then inserting them into either a presentation (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) or document (such as Microsoft Word). If you do not have access to Microsoft, you can do the same in Google Drive which is free.
Other important things to consider when putting these screen captures together:
- Limit three to four screen captures per page.
- Keep one text "conversation" to a page. For example, if you have only two screen captures detailing a "conversation" about exchanges for Thanksgiving then do not add a third screen capture which illustrates your ex's refusal to engage you in medical decision-making for your children.
- If you have more than four screen captures in a "conversation" then make it clear that they continue by placing a title with the date "March 3, 2014 Page 1 of 4".
- Limit titles on pages to dates or other neutral date-like information such as "Christmas Day" , "Casey's Birthday", or "Night Before Summer Vacation."
- Do not include commentary directly on each sheet. We would prefer the commentary in a separate document.
As always, you should contact your attorney if you have any questions.