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Could your texts and emails affect your divorce case?

If the 2016 presidential election taught us nothing else, Americans now know that emails matter. While the campaigns focused on this type of electronic communication, the same scrutiny can be given to all types of electronic data during a divorce action.

As the president-elect of a legal group, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, recently stated, “The problem is, once they’ve already engaged in bad behavior, it’s out there. You can’t recapture it, you can’t bury it.”

While you can perhaps hide your digital footprints from your spouse, it’s far less likely you will be able to do so from a forensic investigator hired by your estranged ex’s family law attorney.

It’s important to understand that when you’re going through a divorce, social media posts can be a minefield. They can affect the future status of financial settlements and child custody decisions.

Even those who don’t overshare on social media can be affected if they share electronic calendars with a spouse or have location-enabled apps installed on their phones.

Passwords that are either known by the spouse or can be easily guessed should also be changed, as well as the security questions to access digital accounts. One way to do this is to make up answers only you could supply.

If you have any reason to suspect that your spouse is devious enough to install a keystroke logging program on your laptop or PC, it’s worth the price to have it scanned by a computer professional to check for and disable any malware programs.

Another scenario that can create problems is when spouses sync their computers, devices and phones. For instance, if you synced a phone with your laptop and got an upgrade and passed the phone on to your child, his or her other parent could have easy access to all your texts if you don’t un-sync the device.

Stay-at-home parents seeking spousal support can claim to be tending to childcare duties all day that prevent them from working for pay. Analyzing their computers and/or social media posts can uncover the real truth about how those hours are spent, however.

To learn more about the way your computer usage can derail your divorce case, address the matter with your New York family law attorney.

Source: The New York Times, “In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers,” Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor, accessed Dec. 02, 2016

Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

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May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP


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