In my practice I am seeing more and more cases where the Internet and cyber wars are part of divorces. Let me give you some examples:
-- I have had cases where IPhones are being used to track another spouse.
-- I have had situations where computers are tapped and spyware is installed so that every email and document is now accessible by my client's spouse.
The result is that not only is a spouse being compromised, but so is all communication between my client and myself, the attorney! This destroys the attorney-client relationship, to say the least. It also means that the other spouse and his or her attorney know everything that is going on between myself and my client.
-- Other situations involve setting up false accounts.
Spouses will not only read your emails, but can even write false emails from your account, pretending to be you.
In one situation, a spouse wrote lewd emails pretending to be the other spouse and then sending them to friends, family and colleagues. One spouse even saw an email being composed while he was on his email account, and he wasn't even typing the email.
I have had cases where spouses have created fake dating profiles of the other spouse. There are many examples of fake personals being created to lure a spouse into a dating relationship. This is called catfishing.
Some spouses will go so far as to create X-rated names. There have been fake sites where one spouse is even being set up to solicit minors for sex.
These divorce terror tactics cannot only be done with computers, but also with smart phones, which are mini-computers. One spouse had his personal text messages redirected to his son's phone. This is called "spoofing" where you can send a text to someone else using another phone (not your own), but it can be sent from your phone or your computer.
There are even examples of spouses using Photoshop to put pictures of their spouse in pornographic situations and even exposing the children to this.
What can you do if you are contemplating or going through a divorce?
1. Paranoia in our computer age is justified.
2. Change your passwords.
3. Have your computers checked to make sure that they are not being compromised.
4. If you have a family IPhone account, separate it and get your own phone and a
5. If you feel that you are being compromised by your spouse, be careful what you email to your attorney or friends.
6. Talk to your attorney in person and not by phone or email.
7. Do not say anything or post anything that can come back to haunt you.
8. Do not post compromising pictures on the Internet.
9. Be careful what you say, email or text to your children.
10. Stop and think twice before you say or do anything. You may be taped or compromised in so many fashions in this cyber age.
These are some of my thoughts. Please share your experiences with me for future blogs on this important issue.
HENRY S. GORNBEIN Family Law Attorney & Legal Correspondent