ALEXANDRIA, Virginia. Divorcing couples share more data than they may realize. According to a recent New York Times piece on the divorce of Huma Abedin and disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, the data you share with your spouse can come back to hurt you. The divorce of the political couple may have an impact on this year’s election. According to the Washington Post, just weeks before the country will vote, the F.B.I. obtained a warrant to search Weiner’s emails for evidence that may be relevant to Hillary Clinton’s private email server investigation. Reports suggest that Weiner may have had Abedin’s emails in his possession. It isn’t clear whether these emails are relevant to Clinton’s private server.
Family lawyers looking at the case told the Times that it isn’t uncommon for one partner’s “garbage” to “destroy” the life of the other. When individuals get divorced, the data they share or keep separately becomes open to investigation. Many savvy divorce lawyers will turn to social media services like Facebook, to gain a better understanding of their clients. In some cases, family lawyers can gain troves of helpful information by looking at a former spouse’s account. According to family lawyers, individuals who engage in bad behavior often leave a digital trail of that behavior behind.
For individuals going through divorce there is not much one can do about information already on social media or information already on a computer. Deleting incriminating messages and posts can be construed as destroying evidence. However, individuals can monitor their use of social media during divorce proceedings to prevent further damage. Additionally, individuals should be honest and open with their family lawyers about any potentially incriminating information or behavior. A family lawyer prepared for the worst to come to light can build a stronger case to defend against it. Waiting for information to come to light isn’t always the best strategy. If you are going through a divorce, the Jones Law Firm are family law attorneys in Alexandria, Virginia who may be able to help you negotiate some of the challenges that technology and data can present.
If you are going through a divorce, taking early steps to prevent loss of critical data is important. Open a new and separate email account. Stop sharing calendars. And, consider changing banking passwords and security questions that your spouse may have access to. Lawyers are increasingly becoming savvy at mining data legally to find lies. For instance, in one case, a father claimed to be a stay at home dad, but a data mine into his computer use during the day revealed gambling and porn problems.
Individuals should also think about protecting their data. Save shared photos on your own computer or devices to prevent photos being held “hostage” during divorce deals. Family lawyers can also help divorcing couples place a value on shared data and determine how to best divide these shared accounts, if possible. Divorce can be complex, especially when technology comes into play. Individuals who are going through a divorce are wise to find skilled counsel to help them navigate the complexities of dividing their digital as well as matrimonial lives. Visit www.hdjoneslaw.com to learn more.