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Potential to abuse technology in a divorce

The rate at which Colorado couples find themselves at the end of a marriage seems only to rise as the years pass. However, divorce today is not what it used to be. As technology has permeated so many aspects of our lives, it has also become a factor in many divorces -- and not necessarily in a good way.

Take the example of GPS tracking devices. More and more family law attorneys are seeing cases where divorcing spouses have used GPS trackers to monitor a partner's location -- often by hiding the device in that person's car -- or who have been the victim of this kind of digital spying. This can become even more alarming in the case of an abusive spouse with a restraining order using a tracker to keep tabs on the victim spouse and children.

It may sound like it should be against the law, and of course sneaking a tracker onto a car that belonged to someone else without their knowledge would be illegal. But, what if a car belonged to both spouses during the marriage, as many do, and a divorce was not yet finalized? Generally, if a car is still legally owned by two people, one joint owner may install a tracking device on the vehicle without informing the other owner.

This is just one example. Smartphones obviously open up even more possibilities. The potential for abuse of technology, like this, in the context of a divorce may come as a rude awakening to our Colorado Springs readers. This is why it is important to work with a family law professional who is informed and experienced with current technology matters, both how they can affect clients, as well as the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.

Source: NPR, "I Know Where You've Been: Digital Spying And Divorce In The Smartphone Age," Jan. 4, 2018

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