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Scrutiny of personal electronic data impacting divorce cases

The digital world has become so ubiquitous that we rarely give a second thought to typing a few words and hitting "Send." Texting, email, and social media are deeply embedded parts of many people's lives. And while the ability to communicate with such ease has many advantages, it is advisable to consider the possible consequences that could occur should certain missives be read by our adversaries.

Recently, we witnessed the contents of email and text messages being used in investigations involving prominent political figures. But you don't have to be famous or powerful to have your digital communications put under a magnifying glass. In fact, if you are going through a divorce, it is quite likely that both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse's social media posts will be the subject of scrutiny.

Moreover, attorneys and forensic accountants will pour over any digital communications that they can legally acquire. The primary topics for research are hidden financial assets and information relevant to child custody issues. Yet, as you can imagine, if enough data are obtained, many other pieces of information could be unearthed, some of which may be compromising.

It is important to understand that if you are going through a divorce, your digital communications can become fair game. Likewise, access to your ex's digital footprints could help strengthen your case. This means that it is a wise idea to act as swiftly as possible to protect your interests insofar as you and your ex's personal data is concerned.

To this end, you may wish to contact an attorney who has experience handling high asset divorce cases. An attorney can provide guidance on how best to handle your data and your ex's data for building your case.

Source: New York Times "In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers," Jonah Engel Browich, Daniel Victor Oct. 31, 2016

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