Divorce or Separation Process - Instructions to Save and Print Text Messages

Save and print text messages for divorce.

Anyone who has been through a divorce or separation knows that it’s one of the most stressful circumstances that any individual can experience during the course of their lifetime. Even when the divorce is amicable, the loss of a partnership and bond is most always a difficult and emotional process.

In addition to all the legal hoops that one has to navigate when getting divorced, the mountains of paperwork that both parties have to submit to lawyers and courts can be both tiring and confusing, even with the guidance of one’s own legal counsel.

Many couples that enter into divorce proceeding find that one of the first things their lawyer often asks them to do is to gather up various forms of evidence in order to help bolster their case and negotiate the terms of the separation. Today, one of the primary forms of evidence that divorce lawyers require for discovery are text messages with one’s former partner. For couples worldwide, texting is one of the most commonly used forms of communication during any relationship or patnership. As most divorce attornies will explain, the sent and received SMS messages between two people usually tell a story, and often that narrative is helpful for both parties when presenting their side of the case to a judge or divorce court.

Print and save your sms messages for your divorce attorney

There are several ways for anyone going through a divorce to prepare their text message communications for their legal team. Most lawyers require both electronic copies and hard copy print outs of text messages. The type of mobile phone a person uses (Android or iPhone) will determine which tips or software might work best for their needs. Let’s outline some of these options from a device perspective.

Android Phones

For Android phones, a user has the option to either take screenshots or download software to accomplish the task at hand.

Extracting text nessages from your Android phone for divorce


If a user wants to take screenhots on their Android device, the instructions differ depending on the specific model phones. Android Central has a great list of instructions that covers many of the Android phones in the marketplace today. We recommened looking at the aforementioned list for instructions that apply to your specific device.

Software - Install an app that will let you export your messages to your Gmail account.

SMS Backup + - The program enables any Android user to backup text messages and attachments for printing or archiving.

How to save text messages from your android device

Pros and cons to using SMS Backup + to print and save messages for divorce cases:

  • Gmail account required - If the user doesn't currently have a Gmail account, they can sign up for one here, and registering only takes a few minutes. Registering for a Gmail acocunt is definitely worth it for the ease and use of the SMS Backup + tool.

  • Secure Storage - After using the software, text messages will be safely stored in the user's Gmail account and they can print them out, email them to their divorce attorney, or whatever best works for their needs. The messages are only accessible by people who have access to your Gmail account.

  • It's Free - The software is a free download and no payment is required to unlock any of the program's features.

Steps to save / download text messages for Divorce or Separation - Android Devices

  1. Download SMS Backup + on your Android phone from the Google Play store.

  2. Link your Gmail account and then select “Connect” in the dialog box.

  3. Select the messages you want to back up. (Note: you can adjust in the preferences if you want to save both SMS messages and MMS messages.

Saving text messages for Android

iPhones / iPads

Here are some solutions for iPhone users to accurately save and print text messages for their divorce or separation.

Exporting iPhone text messages for divorce proceedings


To get the divorce evidence process started, many lawyers will ask their clients that use iOS to take screenshots of pertinent text conversations on their iPhone or iPad. To take a screen shot on iPhone simply do the following:

  1. On the side or top of your iPhone, hold and press the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. At the same time, press and immediately let go of the Home button.
  3. Your screenshot will then appear in your Camera Roll on your device.

Steps to take screenshots of text messages for divorce related matters

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking screenshots:

  • Great for small amount of messages - Screenshots are great if you only have a few text message conversations that you need to capture. If you have a large amount of messages, having to screenshot all the important data for your divorce case can be time consuming. Also, having to name and organize all the screenshots can be rather cumbersome.

  • No skills required - Any novice iPhone user can take a screenshot in just seconds. The ease of use is a compelling feature and the screenshot is immediately saved to the user’s iPhone camera roll.

  • Instant access - With the screenshots saved to your iPhone camera roll, you can immediately text or email the screenshot from your iOS device to your attorney, family, or anyone who might be assisting with the separation.

  • Imprecise Date/Time Information - The iPhone Messages app only shows the date and time on some messages, which may not be enough for use in court or mediation.

Software - Download a program on your computer that will save and print iPhone text messages.

Decipher TextMessage: The software will enable you export and print text messages that are on your iPhone or iPad. It also exports any attachments (photos / videos) that are part of the text messsage conversation to your computer.

Using Decipher TextMessage to save text messages for a divorce case

Decipher TextMessage - Quickly and easily save your text messages and image attachments to your computer.

Pros and cons to using Decipher TextMessage: to print and save messages for divorce cases:

  • Formatting - The software will export your messages in “chat bubble” formatting just as they look on the iPhone or iPad itself.

  • Contact on every text message - The program has a unique feature that will display the contact name on every single individual text message, both sent and received. This is not something that is available on the iPhone itself nor is it possible to have this feature when taking iPhone screenshots. This is a very helpful feature that is often requested by lawyers or divorce courts.

Saving text messages with contact on every message

  • It's a paid program - While screenshots are free, Decipher TextMessage is a paid program with a one-time fee of $29.99. However, there is a free trial version that enables you to save two or three messages from each of your contacts without paying. You can also print these messages and the trial version gives the user the chance to test drive the software before committing to buy.

  • PDF Capability - After exporting messages, the software enables users to then convert exported messages to a PDF for which they can easily email to their legal counsel or anyone else associated with their case.

  • Recover Deleted Messages - The program features a “recovery” window that will extract whatever deleted text messages are in the user’s iPhone backup.

  • Privacy / Compatibility - The software works on both Mac and Windows and no iCloud or iTunes passwords are needed to use the software. Only the user has access to their own data.

  • iTunes Required - Decipher TextMessage requires iTunes and that the user has an iTunes backup on their Mac or Windows computer. If you are unable to back up your iPhone or iPad and run iTunes or if you don't have a computer, the software will not work for your needs.

Steps to print and save text messages for Divorce or Separation - iPhone / iPad

  1. Back up your iPhone via iTunes on your Windows or Mac computer. Note: The software will not work on Chromebooks since iTunes is a requirement.

  2. Download Decipher TextMessage and launch the program.

  3. Select your iPhone or iPad and choose a contact whose messages you want to export.

  4. Press the “Export” > “Export Conversation” > “Text, Photos, and Attachments” to save with iPhone like formatting.

  5. Open the exported conversation file and select File > Print.

You may also find this tutorial about printing iPhone text messages helpful.

Printing text messages for separation or divorce

Getting Closure

Organizing text messages for a separation or divorce proceeding is one of only hundreds of tasks that any individual has to go through related to their case. Anytime a partnership dissolves, we know it can be overwhelming and cause vast amounts of pain and distress for anyone involved. This is all in addition to the amount many hours it takes to prepare paperwork for the separation process. We hope that this article helps give any individual going through this process some peace of mind and a bit of relief knowing that their text messages can be saved, printed, and archived for their case.

Export SMS messages for your divorce lawyer to get closure