Spies like us: how technology is being used in divorces

Most Minneapolis area residents have likely read a book or seen a movie in which spies and their many gadgets are the topic. Most people, however, don't anticipate one day becoming the target of such a spy, much less that the spy will turn out to be a current, estranged or soon-to-be ex-spouse.

You hear all sorts of nasty stories about divorce and the lengths that some spouses will go to, to both hide and discover secrets and hidden assets. In this post, we'll discuss a few of the more common modern technological devices that are allowing the stay-at-home mom down the street and desk-job dad to morph into spies who are hungry to discover information about a spouse that may ultimately result in a big divorce payout.

Individuals of all ages have grown increasingly reliant on computers and personal tablets for both personal and professional use. From accessing one's bank and credit card accounts to sending an email and communicating with friends via social media websites; for most individuals, a wealth of personal and financial information is accessible at the touch of their fingertips. Enter a suspicious or vengeful spouse.

Using what's commonly referred to as spyware software, a spouse can effectively access password protected documents and websites to discover a spouse's financial activities as well as who he or she has been communicating with via email and social media accounts. Access to this information can then be used to discover hidden assets or possible affairs. Access also provides an angry spouse the opportunity to send communications posing as their husband or wife.

GSP trackers are another technological gadget being used by soon-to-be ex-spouses who suspect a wife or husband is keeping secrets or isn't being fully truthful. Much like the devices used by a driver who is navigating to an unfamiliar destination, GPS trackers allow an in-the-dark spouse to track and discover the whereabouts of a husband or wife. The data collected from these types of devices can then be used to catch a husband or wife in a lie.

In most divorce cases, evidence collected from spy-like devices cannot be used in court. However, when it comes to divorce proceedings, catching a soon-to-be ex in a lie may be enough to compel him or her to confess and cooperate during divorce negotiations related to matters such as the division of property and assets.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Can Technology Be an Enemy in Divorce? You'd Be Surprised," Brendan Lyle, June 18, 2014

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