What is Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF)?

Exif in divorce and family law litigationIn family law cases, including divorce and child custody cases, photographs and videos are becoming an ever-increasing piece of evidence used in court.  This is especially true as social media is becoming more prevalent in society.

In some cases, a party might use photographs and videos in court in a child custody case to show that the conduct of a party might make them a poor custodian for the children.  This could include circumstances where a party is engaging in behavior they shouldn’t be engaging in and posting them to social media accounts.

In other cases, it might be the basis for alleging that a spouse has committed marital misconduct.  In some circumstances, a party might be engaging in behavior that the court deems inappropriate.  This is especially true in cases where marital misconduct is still a factor in determining the division of marital property and debt or spousal maintenance.  In Missouri, marital misconduct is still one factor the court can consider.

One thing most parties do not realize is that photos and videos taken with smart phones track the latitude and longitude of where a photo is taken.  This is the case where phones have the ability to act as a GPS.  When photos and videos are taken from these devices, meta data is stored that shows where the photo or video was taken.  This meta data is known as Exchangeable Imagine File Format (or EXIF).  This meta data is not generally stripped when the photos or videos are uploaded online.

This can become an important in some cases where the location of a party while taken a photo or video is at issue.  A party may allege, for example, that they were in a location that was innocent and not inappropriate.  However, an examination of the meta data can often confirm whether that is true or not.

If you are going through a divorce or family law matter, and need an attorney, Stange Law Firm, PC can help.  We have divorce lawyers in Missouri and Illinois who can assist.



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