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Posted on in Divorce

Technology Affecting the Way People DivorceDigital technology has changed how people interact with each other, which affects important relationships such as marriages. It may be a stretch to say that social media and phone use are causing people to get divorced, but they may be an obstacle to repairing a damaged marriage. Once people have decided to divorce, digital technology has changed the process – in helpful ways but also in ways that require caution. As a result, technology and communication have grown in importance as it relates to divorce.

Technology Leading Up to Divorce

Spending more time socializing on your digital devices usually means less time interacting with people in person such as your spouse. Direct communication is one of the key tools that couples use to keep their relationships strong and resolve differences between each other. Digital technology also creates new opportunities for marital conflicts, such as discovering that your spouse is having an affair with someone through electronic correspondences or has been using your money on hidden purchases.

Technology During a Divorce

We live in a digital information age that provides divorcees with more resources than ever before, including:

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Be Aware of the Social Media Activity of Children of DivorceChildren of divorce are often unsure of who to talk to about their feelings because their most natural outlet – their parents – is at the source of their pain. Social media is an easy alternative for them, where they can express themselves and connect with friends. Divorced parents may believe that there is no harm in letting their children withdraw into their mobile devices. After all, parents know where the children are. However, children can still get themselves into trouble on social media and are more prone to making poor decisions when experiencing a traumatic event, such as their parents' divorce.

Potential Problems

Children often fail to understand that what they say and do on social media can have real-life consequences. Posting offensive or inappropriate content reflects poorly on them now and leaves a record that could hurt them in the future, such as when they apply to a college. Sharing too much about themselves makes them appear vulnerable to people who try to exploit confused children and teenagers, such as:

  • Sexual predators;
  • Online scammers;
  • Cyberbullies; and
  • People trying to indoctrinate others into an extreme belief system.

Solutions

As a divorced parent, you must protect your children from unhealthy online behavior while also respecting their need for social connections and independence. Prohibiting them from having social media accounts is difficult to enforce and will make them rebellious. Installing parental controls feels demeaning to older children and should be done only if the child has demonstrated that they cannot be responsible on their own. There are more effective ways to protect your children:

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Posted on in Technology

Law Prohibits Electronic Eavesdropping on SpouseIt should be obvious that you are not allowed to break into your spouse’s locked filing cabinet in order to obtain his or her personal documents during your divorce. The same concept applies to digital information. You are not allowed to snoop through your spouse's computer or other electronic devices to find private communications and documents. The evidence you find would be inadmissible in your divorce case, and you could face criminal charges for violating eavesdropping laws. However, you can use digital information that your spouse makes available to the public.

Electronic Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping is the act of obtaining information that a person can reasonably expect to remain private. There are several methods someone could use to eavesdrop on his or her spouse’s electronic communications or access digital documents:

  1. Unauthorized Log-In: Many computers and email accounts require a user name and password in order to access them. You may know or be able to guess your spouse’s log-in information, but you are not allowed to log in to his or her private accounts without permission.
  2. Hacking: Someone with technical savvy may be able to remotely access a person’s private digital information. Hackers can breach digital security by exploiting system weaknesses or sending an email with malicious software. Hacking into your spouse’s digital devices is a major violation of his or her privacy.
  3. Monitoring: One goal of gaining access to someone’s digital device is to install software that can track and record private conversations. If someone’s spouse was previously allowed to use a device, he or she could have installed spyware. Monitoring your spouse’s emails, texts, phone calls, and video chats is a definite violation of the eavesdropping law.

Public Information

Social media has become the big exception to the eavesdropping laws that restrict access to personal information. Your spouse cannot expect information to remain private if he or she posted it publicly on Facebook or another platform. It is legal for you to watch your spouse’s public social media activity to see if he or she says anything that may be relevant to your divorce.

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Posted on in Divorce

How to Announce Your Divorce Through Social MediaTelling each person you know individually about your divorce can be exhausting and stressful. It also creates many socially awkward situations where the person is not sure how to respond to the news. You would feel relieved if you could just tell them all at the same time. Social media makes this possible in ways that previous generations did not have. However, you must carefully plan out when and how you make the announcement because it will determine how people respond to the news:

  1. Tell Your Closest Friends First: There is no avoiding having a conversation about your divorce with your family and closest friends. They deserve to hear the news from you personally because they may be emotionally invested in your relationship. Think of how you would feel if you learned about your best friend’s divorce through a Facebook announcement. Your friends can also be your allies when making your larger announcement.
  2. Create One Unified Announcement: You can help minimize the drama from your divorce announcement by making it together with your former spouse. Most likely, one of you will write it and send it to the other to get approval before posting it. If your relationship is too strained for this type of cooperation, it is still best to be civil in your announcement and consider how your spouse will react.
  3. Set Expectations with Your Message: You do not need to share intimate details about your divorce, but a short announcement will invite people to respond with questions that you may feel uncomfortable answering. You can give a generic reason why you are getting a divorce or tell people you do not want to talk about. Let people know if you do not want them to ask questions or offer help.
  4. Consider Your Audience: A divorce announcement is appropriate for people who are personal acquaintances. You may use certain social media accounts for professional contacts or more casual acquaintances. Use the social media platform that will only reach the people who you feel need to hear the news. Adjust the privacy settings for your announcement accordingly.
  5. Assign a Spokesperson: You may want to avoid the pressure of responding to people who leave comments on your announcement. You can ask a close friend or family member to respond on your behalf. This person should know how to reply to someone offering help or asking an awkward or inappropriate question.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Your divorce announcement should be the only time you talk about your divorce on social media. Your best strategy will be to keep a low profile on social media throughout your divorce so you will not do something that may hurt your case. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can advise you on the proper behavior when going through a divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneysAre you the type of person who is quick to share photos and experiences with your friends and followers on Facebook or Instagram? Social media networks like these can certainly be fun and help keep distant family members up to date with each other’s lives. When you are in the midst of a divorce, however, social media can be an unexpected source of danger. It is important to keep a few things in mind if you intend to stay on social media as your marriage is coming to an end.

Image Can Be Everything

Part of the reason that social media sites are so attractive for users is that they allow a person to present a carefully managed version of themselves to their friends and followers. Very few users post embarrassing photos or stories about themselves; instead, they focus on the high points. The problem with social media as it relates to divorce, however, is the lack of context.

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