Technology is a reminder to the age old idea that change is the only constant, and in the ever-evolving landscape of technology, you can rest assured greater innovation is always around the corner.
There are, however, instances where technology plays an unfavorable role in our lives, such as in a divorce where high assets are at stake. In cases of divorce between high-net-worth individuals, advanced technology and social media may create a murky picture to what may already be a complex issue.
More information is available and more easily accessed through these channels, and this information unfortunately can be used against–or in favor of–each spouse. As a result, it’s important for couples to know and understand the boundaries of privacy including what is admissible in court in Texas.
1. “Private” Matters Can be Open to Scrutiny
Many people work under the false impression that personal digital data is just that: “personal.” Unfortunately, online activity and personal digital communications can potentially play a significant role within a divorce proceeding.
A Forbes article reported that activity or communications that could be subpoenaed for use in court include:
- Emails and text messages
- Social media posts including those on Facebook and Twitter
- Photos from channels such as Instagram and/or Snapchat
- Any other social media activity
Communications or posts shared can be used to affect the final outcome of a high conflict divorce. An example of this could be in cases where a spouse may be hiding assets, only to reveal a more accurate picture of their financial worth on social media with posts boasting expensive purchases, or lavish vacations or getaways.
While social media activity and other electronic communications are admissible in a high-asset divorce, it’s critical for spouses to understand and respect privacy rights during a divorce. For many, it’s easy to lose sight of the broader perspective and use these technologies as a way to guarantee all but an amicable divorce from a spouse.
2. An Unfortunate Trend of Spousal Spying
As high-tech tools become more accessible and affordable, an egregious amount of spouses are relying on this technology to spy and invade on one another’s privacy. GPS trackers, hidden cameras, keystroke loggers, and cell phone monitoring software are all capable of monitoring spouses nearly every move.
Spousal spying and the way it’s viewed by the court varies from state to state and according to each individual case. Spouses going through a divorce in Texas involving high assets should keep in mind that although courts may allow access to a greater amount of information and activity, this does not give an individual the right to spy on a spouse and obtain this information through the means previously discussed.
In the most ideal of situations, divorce should be a thoughtful and well-thought out process where the privacy rights of each spouse are protected. Notwithstanding, it’s important for those going through a divorce to exercise caution when sharing information from online or via phone communication, especially in instances where the information is not shared publicly.
It’s safe to advise that spouses in the midst of divorce should evaluate what they want to share from digital media that they wouldn’t otherwise want shared in court. That is, don’t share anything through digital media that you wouldn’t feel comfortable reading aloud in court in the presence of your grandmother.
Be advised if you live in Texas, you should consult an experienced Houston high-net-worth divorce attorney who specializes in these cases. Our attorneys can offer you feedback on your privacy rights, in addition to your assets, and how they can be protected in court. Offering guidance on how to legally access information can be another issue that could potentially determine the outcome of your case.
High-Asset Divorce Lawyers Helping Houston Clients Protect Their Privacy and Their Assets
The Law Offices of Douglas Ray York, P.C. has worked tirelessly for over two decades to protect high-powered individuals and the future of their families’, helping them fairly resolve their high-conflict divorces.
Serving Houston high-asset clients, the legal team at the Law Offices of Douglas Ray York, P.C. can help you better understand the role of social media and explore privacy concerns as it relates to your case.