The Hidden Dangers of Divorce in the Digital World

When you’re in family court for a divorce or custody dispute, you’re under extreme scrutiny. Scrutiny from the court, possibly a mediator, and usually from your ex-spouse. Feuding parents are always looking for reasons to claim superiority, and point out the other’s inferiority. This scrutiny is magnified with today’s technology. Consider the hidden dangers in the following example:

Husband’s iPhone was long-ago configured to link iMessages to the home laptop. Not remembering, he believes his texts are private . . . meanwhile, his ex is reading them on the family computer and legally obtains information to benefit her custody case. Despite the sneakiness, the judge accepts the evidence, which ultimately damages the father’s courtroom outcome.

Individuals going through the family court system must be extra vigilant and responsible with technology tools that could harm or help their case, including spyware, GPS trackers, social media portals and home assistants like Alexa. NPR recently explored the scarier side of divorce in the digital world:


Stalking should never be taken lightly. Know the signs. If you believe you are a victim of criminal stalking, take control of the situation by documenting your experience, adopting additional security measures, and considering a restraining order. Know the facts: 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. There are many resources available to help, including the Stalking Resource Center online and WEAVE here in Sacramento.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KEELEY L. NICKELSON is an attorney with FORESTER PURCELL STOWELL PC, a Northern California law firm focused exclusively on specialized counsel for complex divorce and family law issues. She can be reached at or 916 293 4000. This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.
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