Taking digital precautions when divorcing

Posted by Lauren S. CohenJan 10, 20170 Comments

Divorce negotiations can be incredibly complex proceedings. All manner of things can have the potential to play a role in such negotiations. In today's digital world, this includes digital data, such as a person's social media activity or their electronic communications. There are situations in which such data might potentially touch on some of the key issues in the divorce, like property division or child custody.

So, there is a possibility that, in a divorce, one's ex may try to use one's social media posts or electronic communications against them in negotiations. So, when divorcing, it can be important for a person to be careful about their online and digital activity. Examples of steps divorcing individuals can take to try to protect their private digital data and avoid inadvertently giving their ex extra ammunition in divorce negotiations include:

  • Maintain control of all of their digital devices.
  • Disable location tracking on their digital devices.
  • Check the privacy settings on their social media to see if they are where they want them to be.
  • Get a new email account for handling personal business.
  • Change the passwords for online accounts.
  • Change the security questions for online accounts.
  • Be careful about what they put in social media posts.
  • Be careful about what they put in electronic communications, even ones they assume are private.

Many things can have an impact on the role different pieces of digital data could end up playing in divorce negotiations. Among these are the laws of the state the divorce is in. This includes the state's general laws on divorce and the issues connected to it. It also includes the state's laws that specifically touch on digital data, such as laws on what sort of data collection steps by ex-spouses are and aren't legal and laws on the admissibility of different types of digital data in family law proceedings.

As this illustrates, a wide range of legal issues and types of evidence can end up being impactful in divorce negotiations. This is why it can be wise to have a skilled divorce lawyer's guidance and help when in such negotiations. Such lawyers can help individuals with identifying the key issues in such negotiations and with determining what strategies for addressing these issues could help with protecting their best interests.

Source: Forbes, “How Is Electronic Data Handled In Divorce?,” Jeff Landers, Dec. 22, 2016