Going through a divorce is far from a pleasant experience, and ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible is often a top priority for those involved. Therefore, maintaining a good personal reputation and credibility can be truly crucial during such a time. While there are many factors that can contribute to complicating a divorce — or further complicating an already “messy” one, there is a particularly significant relationship that many couples may overlook or underestimate: their electronic data and divorce.
Electronic data has become a huge component in society today. Taking forms such as email, text messages, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it has become a go-to source for communication, entertainment and much more. It has become so abundant and available to us that perhaps we do not use it with the caution that we should, especially when that data is of a more personal nature.
It has become commonplace during divorce proceedings for lawyers and investigators to dig deep into another spouse’s personal electronic data in search of sensitive or discrediting personal information such as hidden assets or significant lies. This search can include personal social media, emails, text messages, and photographs. Lawyers can attempt to use whatever significant information they find as evidence in court. While some information may not be admissible, it can certainly still embarrass the spouse or taint their reputation permanently.
So, what should be done to avoid such potentially negative ramifications? Deleting information is ill-advised, as doing so can be viewed in court as destruction of evidence. But being selective about what personal information we divulge in text, email, and social media is a critical way to avoid these issues. Many couples are also now including what is known as a “social media clause” in their prenuptial agreements, in which they agree that certain predetermined “protected information” will not be distributed without the other spouse’s written or electronic consent. While this clause may help maintain privacy between spouses, it is not guaranteed. It remains, then, that the most effective way to make sure that personal electronic data and divorce do not mix would be to be more cautious with electronic data.
Going through a divorce requires the best representation and experience from the right law firm. Simonetti & Associates divorce law firm in Woodbury, NY, has been representing Nassau County and surrounding communities since 1990. Their attorneys use extensive experience and knowledge to help your case achieve a successful outcome.