The great thing about technology is that you can use it both as an offensive weapon and a defensive mechanism in your divorce. If you are not doing so, it will probably cause you some harm in your case. I’m not telling you that you need to turn into a computer whiz or anything close to that. However, you ought to know the basics of how technology can impact your divorce.
With that said, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, would like to continue our week-long discussion of technology and its usage in your divorce. Our attorneys are technologically savvy and keep up to date on the changes and updates in technology and their potential impact on you and your family. If you have questions or would like to seek clarification on a particular issue discussed today, please get in touch with our office. It would be our pleasure to sit down with you for a free-of-charge consultation to address and answer your questions or concerns.
Do not inadvertently destroy evidence stored on electronic devices.
Did you know that you are doing more than just keeping your inbox tidy by going through old emails and deleting them? You may be destroying potential evidence in your divorce. Social media postings and emails are probably the most commonly deleted information that I encounter that could be utilized as evidence by you or your spouse. Discuss with your attorney what is allowed and what is not. If you are going through email in the regular course of your business, you are probably ok to delete it. However, you do not want to inadvertently delete something that results in your paying penalties to your spouse. Judges take this issue seriously, and as a result, you should as well.
Starting from scratch is a good thing.
As your divorce winds down and you head toward single life, you should change and update passwords to the various websites you visit online. If you have a phone on the same plan as your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is time to get a new plan and phone. The reason being is that you do not want to allow your spouse an opportunity to check your voicemails or keep track of your whereabouts using the locating devices in cellphones.
Laptops and personal computers need to be recycled at the end of a divorce and new ones purchased in their place. In yesterday’s blog post, We discussed the perils of utilizing spyware during your divorce to keep tabs on what your spouse is doing online. That same spyware can remain on an electronic device after the divorce and allow your spouse a window into your life long after the conclusion of your divorce.
Make sure your communications are private.
If you have an email account that you use for most of your online correspondence, it is wise to consider starting a new account to communicate about your case. I work with clients to make sure the client and I have a time each week that we will either call each other to speak about their case or arrange a time to exchange emails. If a client prefers email contact, I will always make time to provide them with a list of what is going on in their case. Any immediate concerns that need to be addressed can be done over the phone. However, if it is merely an update the client wants, I will email.
The last thing you want is your spouse to log in to your email account to see what emails you have been sending and receiving. Eliminate this risk by opening a new email account for essential purposes like communicating with your attorney and your legal team.
Be careful how often you log in to social media sites.
Most folks reading this blog have a bit of an addiction to social media websites. We log on, and the next thing we know, an hour has passed without even knowing it. How does this happen? Social media sites are great at sucking us in and holding onto our attention with all of their might. These websites spend a lot of money each year figuring out how to make their product as enticing and addictive as possible to stay online and spend money buying products that you see advertised. Looking at the latest funny cat meme or seeing your nephew’s new dog are excellent side items that can take up some time.
The real problem with social media is that your correspondence on these websites can be just as damaging and public as a conversation you have with a friend at a restaurant or other public place. I advise clients to forget about their online habits for the entirety of their divorce. If the person protests, I will ask them: what do you gain from going online? You risk it being taken out of context or taken in context and can hurt your case by posting something online. After seeing spouses attempt to hide expensive purchases only to have them discovered online, I have concluded that there are very few reasons to keep up with your social media usage while going through a divorce.
You need to re-think that strategy before you think you can go into the social media site’s privacy settings and block your spouse from seeing what you are doing. Your spouse’s friends and family are still able to keep tabs on you. Don’t bother trying to go through each person you are friends with and blocking those loyal to your spouse. You are now undertaking quite the time-wasting endeavor. This is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Finally, we can tie together two subjects discussed today by informing you that deleting a social media profile during your divorce is the same as destroying potential evidence relevant to your and your spouse’s cases. Rather than do this and run the risk of being held accountable by the judge, it would help if you considered simply deactivating your account for the time being. Once your divorce is complete, you can pick up where you left off regarding social media usage.
A final word on technology and your divorce
Despite the advice that you have read over the past few days, I am not a Luddite by any stretch. I use technology just as frequently as the next person and see the value. However, I have also seen good people run into difficult situations because of their inability to ease off from using technology and social media during their divorce. Ultimately you should listen to your attorney and your judgment but take it from me as well- more harm than good will come from your social media and technology used during your divorce.
Questions about the relationship between technology, social media, and your divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
Are you interested in learning more about the interplay between technology, social media, and divorce in Texas? If you are, then the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, would be happy to answer your questions and to continue to discuss this subject with you in a free of charge consultation. We can help you craft a strategy that you can execute to accomplish whatever goals you have for yourself in your divorce. We take pride in representing people in our community just like you.