Technology Can Win or Lose the Case
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The Internet: Best Friend and Worst Enemy
For those in a divorce proceeding, some of the best advice as regards the internet is: exercise extreme caution. Certainly spying on spouses isn’t advisable or even technically legal, but divorce gets nasty. When it comes down to division in the court, property, pets, and custody are going one way or the other. Be sure the opposing party will use everything in their power to ensure they win. Don’t give them ammunition by starting a Tinder profile! Even if the relationship petered off a year and a half before the divorce and both parties were experimenting extra-maritally, in the eyes of the court, only the one about whom sufficient evidence of wrongdoing may be demonstrated is going to bear the consequences. From Facebook to Tinder, email to search engine history to shared bills, there are many ways a spouse can find out about extra-marital activity; and not to use that in court? Unlikely. It takes extreme altruism and pain tolerance; furthermore, it might not be just. Sometimes the person seeking a divorce is the one who’s actually responsible for tearing apart the marriage. In such a scenario, information come by digitally would be very integral to the coming case. Â
Laws Against Spying
On the other hand, what is and isn’t “illegal” activity monitoring changes based on the laws which follow technology. Reading a message that comes from an extra-marital lover on an e-mail account which someone shares with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse isn’t illegal; it can be argued as an observation of happenstance. It’s still very touchy, though, and depending on the defense counsel of your ex-partner, it could be seen negatively in the eyes of the court. In order to keep fromÂ accidentally sabotaging your divorce case, what makes the most sense is finding legal representation and following their advice as regards “snooping”/”spying”, etc. There are certainly scenarios where acquisition of information is not illegal; they are definitely going to be few and far between, however.
On the plus side, when there are custodial issues during a preceding which keep the rightful parents from seeing their children, through things like Skype and other camera-oriented technology, a relationship between children and parents can still be fostered. This also looks good during the subsequent trial.
The Bottom Line
The internet has several plusses and minuses. On the plus side of things:
- It provides communication access to children who may be separated during a case.
- It provides information about both parties.
- The internet can expose fraud and swing jury sympathy.
On the minusÂ side:
- ClientsÂ can get in trouble for spying without meaning to.
- ClientsÂ can lose the case after the relationship is over through revealed private information.
- The internet is perpetually in the public eye.
Don’t ruin chances of being the rightful guardian of children or property as a result of too many drinks and a subsequent Facebook outing. Attorneys should be consulted regarding internet use throughout legal proceedings; especially in the case of divorce.