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One thing few
couples consider when beginning a divorce is the impact that technology will have
on their proceedings. This is especially
true in heavily contested cases. Your
attorney is not allowed to tell you to go out and purge your various social
network platforms, nor should you. It
would be prudent, however, to be careful with social media and other
technologies, and to use common sense.
Often parties will post a picture or a status update in order to elicit
a response from a spouse. However, is
the status update airing your spouse’s dirty laundry or that photograph of you
and the new significant other on vacation together something you want your
spouse’s attorney holding up in front of the judge in your case? Besides social media postings, the following
are things to consider when going through a contested divorce.
Careful With Your Passwords
If your password
for your personal accounts are something your spouse knows, you may want to
change them. These could be for anything
from email to banking/retirement accounts. Account balances and information are shared
during the discovery phase in a divorce, but there have been instances when one
party guesses an account password, quickly liquidates the account and either
makes a purchase, pays off a personal debt, or money simply vanishes. While
there are legal processes to try and recover and offset these actions, they can
be very costly and time consuming once the damage has been done.
As for email
passwords, you may think that you have nothing to hide. However, it is easy for a spouse to gain
personal and confidential information by simply monitoring your
correspondences, especially if you communicate with your attorney via
email. While this type of monitoring
behavior does take place, it is both improper and unethical. Any attorney who becomes aware of this
behavior should advise their client to immediately cease monitoring their
even if you think your passwords are secure, be sure they are not set to ‘auto
login’ on any sites or computers your spouse may have access to.
Another thing to
consider about your electronic devices when going through a divorce is whether
you have them synchronized through a cloud feature or other online
account. You may have everything
password protected, but a simple feature such as “iCloud” being activated could
mean that the secure text messages, emails, and contact information on your
iPhone are popping up on the iPad your spouse took from the marital home
earlier in the divorce.
Messages and Email Correspondence
course of your divorce, or the events leading up to the decision to file for
divorce, it is very likely that the actions of your spouse will upset you. In this situation, there is sometimes a
tendency for one party to lash out at the other, saying or doing things with
the purpose of trying to hurt or upset the other party. Many times this happens via text messages or
The thing that
most people do not realize about this is that those texts and emails become
evidence against you. While they may not
even be about anything pertinent to the facts in your divorce, you do not want
your spouse’s attorney to end up with copies of vulgar or hurtful texts and
emails to present to the judge while arguing something for their client. These
types of messages from a party can only hurt them in the eyes of a judge.
now a valuable part of our everyday lives. When going through a contested
divorce, it is extremely important to give careful thought to how easily shared
and readily available your personal information can be to your spouse and their
attorney. It may be necessary to take steps to protect your privacy during your