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Online indiscretions can be embarrassing in a divorce

Stories about email hacking during the presidential election campaign dominated the headlines in Texas and around the country, but it is not just politicians and celebrities who should be concerned about protecting their online data. Denials of infidelity and claims of financial hardship are not uncommon in divorce cases, and spouses are sometimes undone when statements they have made in emails or images they have posted on social media are contrary to what they have said in court or during property division or alimony negotiations.

The decision to end a marriage is rarely made on the spur of the moment, and spouses who are contemplating taking this step may be wise to closely scrutinize their emails and social media posts before moving ahead. Family law attorneys will likely visit the Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds of all of the parties involved in a divorce case, and even deleting potentially embarrassing content may not be enough to cover the tracks of a mendacious spouse.

Savvy attorneys and investigators could also follow the spider's web of links from social media accounts to see what sort of information has been posted by a divorcing spouse's friends and followers, and even deleted emails can sometimes be recovered. Those who are considering a divorce sometimes snoop on the online activity of their husbands or wives for some time before actually taking action, and spouses should think carefully before making claims that could later be contradicted.

Experienced family law attorneys may go over sensitive online information during initial divorce consultations, and they could counsel their clients about the dangers of making false statements. Spouses who have made revealing statements in emails or social media may be reluctant to have their personal information revealed in court, and attorneys could use this apprehension to encourage them to avoid a protracted legal battle by reaching an amicable settlement.

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