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Use technology and social media cautiously during your divorce

Recently, we discussed a study showing that excessive Facebook use could be a predictor of impending divorce because it can indicate that at least one person is the relationship is seeking companionship and conversation -- at least virtually -- outside the marriage. However, technology and social media can continue to spell trouble even after the couple has gone their separate ways.

In the old days, if a person wanted to know what an ex was up to, they had to hire a private investigator or do their own stalking. Now, it's much easier -- but often against the law. As one Dallas attorney points out, many high-tech spy gadgets "are flat-out illegal to use in the state of Texas." No one wants to deal with criminal charges or an invasion of privacy lawsuit on top of a divorce.

If you are considering any type of sleuthing device, from installing a program to read a spouse's emails to a hidden camera, regardless of the motives, don't do anything until you have discussed it with your attorney. While laws often can't keep up with technology, they are changing nonetheless. Your attorney can advise you on the legality of your plan. If you are attempting to get evidence of a spouse's actions, that evidence won't be admissible if it's obtained through illegal means.

Some people share so much on social media sites that high-tech snooping isn't necessary. All the information is out there to be seen by your ex, his or her friends, family, lawyer and the court. Social media sites can be a blessing or a curse for Texas divorce attorneys, depending on which spouse is using them.

Some attorneys advise clients to stay away from social media sites completely during a divorce. At the very least, it's advisable to increase your privacy settings. No matter how restrictive your settings, it's still important to be careful of what you post. The adage that you shouldn't post anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to see should apply to your estranged spouse's lawyer and your judge. As one lawyer points out, "They're much, much scarier than Grandma."

Source: CultureMap Dallas, "Social media isn't always your 'friend' during break-ups" Amy Hunt, Jun. 09, 2014

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