Digital connection is possible in dozens of different formats — social media platforms, GPS locators, and cell phones are just three readily-accessible examples. Most of us use technology to stay in touch with friends and family. However, the digital era has also introduced a new concern — cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is a form of bullying, extortion, and intimidation that takes place online. It has also become a resource for divorcing couples to get revenge on each other.
Divorce is emotionally taxing enough without the added vitriol of cyberstalking. At times, people do not even know that their actions are malevolent in nature. The easiest way to avoid negative consequences during your divorce is to abstain from communicating with or following your ex online. If you have any questions, speaking with a Georgia divorce attorney can help you more easily transition into post-divorce life.
In Focus: What is Cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is a common form of cyberbullying. Seemingly harmless and innocent “digital welfare checks” can fuel the fire of old wounds and new resentments. A cyberstalking spouse may take the following actions:
- Reading social media pages and obsessing over photographs
- Checking on the profiles and pages of others interacting with the victim’s account
- Creating anonymous profiles pretending to be a random follower
- Leaving angry messages on social media posts of the victim
In the context of divorce, spouses might stalk each other online in an attempt to find out information such as how financial resources are being used, whom they are dating, and how time is spent with shared children. These actions are sometimes the gateway to more frightening behaviors.
When ‘Checking Up’ on Your Ex Crosses the Line
Yes, your ex’s information is publicly available on the internet. It is also true that the information you find can be used against him or her in court. For example, if your ex-husband is claiming that he is owed alimony because you left him destitute, sharing public photos of expensive dinners and lavish getaways can refute that claim.
It crosses over into cyberstalking if that same information is used to threaten, harass, intimidate, or humiliate him or her. As another example, if your soon-to-be ex-wife has found a new beau before finalizing the divorce, calling her out online among shared friends speaks more about your character than hers.
Never attempt to access or hack into your spouse’s accounts. Today’s email and social media security measures record your IP address and the device used during repeated failed attempts. It is not worth the risk to cut yourself down in the process of divorce.
Always Think Twice Before Pressing ‘Post’ or ‘Send’
As previously discussed, your public information is public domain. Become familiar with privacy and security measures available across all of your frequently used accounts. Not only because hacking and cyberstalking is a danger but because your posts are fair game for evidence against you in divorce and child custody proceedings.
A surefire way to avoid conflict is to avoid social media and messaging altogether while the divorce is active in court. If you cannot resist the urge to post something, avoid discussing the following topics:
- Your divorce
- Your child custody battle
- Your finances
- Your new significant other or dating life
For added security purposes, changing your passwords on social media accounts, devices, and email services is smart. Never engage in conflict with your spouse online or in writing without first speaking with a family law attorney. If you are going through a divorce, the team at Charlton & Glover, Attorneys at Law, can help. Schedule a free consultation today by calling our office at (770) 993-1005 or completing our online form here.