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Digital espionage is becoming a trend in divorce cases

As many Maryland residents know, divorce is far from a uniform matter. Sure, there are financial and emotional issues that are inherent to the topic of divorce; but no separating couple is going to have the same divorce as another. With the delicate issues that are at stake in a divorce - child custody, marital assets and property, to name a few - any bit of detrimental information can be used against you and harm your case.

Along these lines, consider your personal computer. During your marriage, you probably shared it with your former spouse. That means she likely knew your passwords and had access to your email - two factors that are part of a new trend in divorce cases.

Former spouses are now turning to "cyber-snooping" to get their hands on any information that could bolster their position in a divorce settlement. One way in which splitting couples are leveraging current technology is to use software that allows them to intercept their ex's emails. Some of these programs even allow for email manipulation, which can change the meaning or context of an email you believe to have sent under private circumstances.

There are a couple of ways you can protect yourself from "cyber-snooping." A simple preventative measure you can take is to change all of your passwords. Email accounts, online banking or website access - all need to be changed to ensure your personal information is not obtained through devious means.

Another step you can take if you believe your former spouse is spying on your computer or email account is to consult a lawyer. You have a right to privacy and your personal information cannot be illegally gathered, especially if it is done to slander or hurt your divorce case. A legal representative can get that sort of evidence dismissed, and your attorney can utilize the proper legal channels to protect your side of the case.

Source: USA Today, "Cyber-snoops often cross legal line in divorce wars," Brian Haas, Feb. 23, 2012

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