Stephen Worrall, in the Georgia Family Law Blog, recently posted about a trend that seems to be happening everywhere. Computers more and more are becoming an interesting and useful source of information about the parties to a divorce. Sometimes, evidence from a party's computer can turn a case around. Instead of hiring a private detective, it may be better to investigate the fingerprints left on the Internet. Here is Stephen's comment:
Lipstick on the collar? One too many late nights at the office? Internet browsing histories?
Divorce lawyers are seeing an increase in the number of cases that cite Web logs as evidence, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
About 79-percent of divorce attorneys polled by the Academy reported an increase in the number of cases using Internet browsing histories during divorce proceedings in the past five years, while 44-percent cited an increase in the use of spyware to gather evidence.
“Many spouses will use the Internet in order to act anonymously, but in many ways it's the most public thing someone can do,” James Hennenhoefer, president of the AAML, said in a statement. “Internet activity can provide valuable glimpses into the kinds of hidden activities that a husband or wife might be trying to conceal and spyware programs can help to make this kind of monitoring extremely easy to conduct.”
Evidently, typing things like “how to cheat without getting caught” into Google, signing yourself up for a marriedbutlooking.com account, or writing up one too many “casual encounters” posts on Craigslist is not advisable if you'd prefer to emerge from divorce court with your bank account intact.
Think about that when you're taking advantage of the open bar at your friends' weddings this summer. Forget the blenders and the Williams Sonoma gift cards. It's all about the tracking software. Ah, romance.