Modern Technology Issues that Affect Divorce
Technology has become a deeply integrated aspect of most people’s lives in our country. Modern couples are surrounded by technology every day, from computers to smartphones to social media and television. While many people don’t think twice about the presence of technology in their lives, it is not uncommon for them to find out just how much it has affected the quality of their relationship and how it can actually hurt them in a divorce. The technology that we take for granted can have lasting consequences when it comes to the breakdown of a marriage.
Many couples share everything, from joint bank accounts to joint email accounts. Spouses will often share passwords, social media accounts, cell phone plans, and accounts for services like Amazon or Netflix. While sharing accounts and services is convenient, you should be aware that your spouse has access to many of the things you do – what you view online, who you email, what you buy, who you call or text. While this is not itself a problem, in relationships where trust is (or is becoming) an issue, this access can provide fertile ground for information that can cause conflict.
If a divorce is imminent or has been initiated, these shared accounts can also affect your divorce case by providing your spouse with information that could potentially be used against you. Learn more on how to protect your online privacy during a divorce.
Social Media as a Distraction
Whereas married couples in the past had more privacy and less distractions, through social media couples now face an endless barrage of potential distractions that can seriously threaten the health of their marriage. Research now shows that social media use increasingly leads to marital conflict, infidelity, and divorce. And it’s not just what someone is doing on social media, but also how much time a person spends on social media.
Studies now show that smartphones and online media have had a large effect on the frequency of divorce. The core issues that couples have faced for years still apply, but with the prevalence of smartphones, wi-fi, and online media, these issues have been complicated and multiplied on a vast scale. Couples are distracted from one another when they spend too much time checking their social media accounts, checking their emails, or binge-watching shows on Netflix instead of talking to one another or spending quality time together in a way which requires communication.
Technology Used as Evidence
Today, technology allows for more and more avenues to gather information for use in court. It is not uncommon for an attorney to present evidence from their client’s spouse’s Facebook page in order to prove that the spouse was unfaithful or untruthful about their version of events. In fact, reports reveal that one-third of all divorce proceedings mention the word “Facebook” at some point. Because Facebook makes it so easy to connect with people from past relationships, people from school, and others, it is often the instigator of affairs which could end a marriage.
Tinder, Ashley Madison, and other dating sites are other potential sources of evidence that can affect the outcome of a divorce case. Information can be gathered from just about any online source. When spouses share passwords, obtaining information on a spouse’s activities becomes even easier. The same goes for email accounts and even bank accounts, where a record of a person’s communications and spending habits is readily accessible.