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The Ease of Proving Infidelity Through Technology

Posted on in Divorce

The recent scandal involving ex-CIA official David Petraeus, Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, biographer Paula Broadwell, and the shirtless General John Allen should remind us all that unlike many things in life, technology is infallible, and leaves a trail behind that is not all that difficult to follow. Whether an affair is carried out via email, text messages, Facebook, or other technological means, these electronic communications leave a path that even the least technologically-adept people can discover. In fact, some businesses have made a profit enabling people to easily discover infidelity by creating specialized computer monitoring software and ghost spyware to recreate a spouse’s computer keystrokes, monitor website usage, and record all emails, whether sent or received. As a result, private investigators who stake out allegedly cheating husbands may have become a thing of the past, and even they admit that these types of technological advances have cut into their business margins.

Electronic evidence of infidelity also is becoming more commonplace in court proceedings as couples duke it out through divorce or child custody battles. According to one survey, 81% of lawyers have seen an increase in the number of cases that have involved the use of evidence from social media sites over the last five years. The primary source of this evidence? Facebook, the popular social networking site, which has grown a reputation for reuniting long-lost lovers and rekindling old flames, sometimes to the detriment of current marriages or relationships. This phenomenon has even spawned the creation of a new website, Facebookcheating.com, which was founded by a man whose ex-wife had an affair with an old boyfriend with whom she had reconnected on Facebook.

The moral of this story is that no electronic communications are private, and there is always the potential for a third party – whether it be your current spouse or the FBI – to discover the extent, nature, and duration of your communications with another purpose. Deleting an email or erasing a text message is simply insufficient; these communications are almost always recoverable in some manner, and may be used against you in ongoing court proceedings, particularly where a divorce or child custody case is concerned.

If you are involved in divorce or child custody proceedings, whether or not electronic evidence is an issue, you will need the assistance of an experienced Lombard, Illinois family law attorney, every step of the way. Contact our office today, and see how we can help you navigate the minefield of your family law proceedings.

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