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Divorce in the digital age

As our society becomes increasingly reliant on technology, it appears that divorces are following suit. Attorneys are reporting a rise in the use of Facebook and other applications to track spouses, but the efforts do not end there. Lawyers say their clients are not only tracking their soon-to-be exes with iPhones and other devices; now, divorcees are tapping each other's computers with spyware and other software that can monitor every keystroke. This trend is having an impact on the way modern attorneys handle the traditional aspects of divorce in Maryland.

Not only could your spouse be setting up false email accounts in your name; they could also commit a variety of indiscretions under their newly assumed identity. Divorcees report their exes hacking into their email accounts, sending lewd and explicit emails to minors. In addition, your ex could be creating a fake online dating account to lure others into a dating relationship. Even more disturbing is the fact that most computer crimes can now also be committed on smartphones, which are essentially mini-computers.

So, how can you protect yourself from these cyber-attacks? Attorneys urge clients to be cautious at every step of their divorce. Paranoia in the digital age is often useful. Be sure to change all relevant passwords after you start your divorce proceedings. Take your computers to professionals to make sure spyware has not been installed on your device. If you are using family smartphone plans, split your cell phone contract into an individual arrangement.

Perhaps most importantly, be cautious about information you send to your attorney and others through the Web. Even messages to your kids or friends could be monitored by an unscrupulous spouse. Watch what you say on any social media or other communications network.

If you are concerned about your ex cyber-stalking you, consider seeking help from a qualified divorce attorney. These professionals can help you protect your rights even through a digital era divorce.

Source:, "Cyber wars and your divorce" Henry Gornbein, May. 31, 2013

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