Divorce in the Digital Age

Electronic communications are becoming a weapon in divorce proceedings, often establishing grounds for divorce. Flirtatious emails and saucy messages sent via social networking sites such as Facebook and Friends Reunited can be used as evidence of a spouse's ‘unreasonable behaviour'.

Many people may be lulled into a false sense of security by electronic communication as any incriminating information can be deleted. However, software packages that can be downloaded onto a spouse's computer have been developed to assist suspicious spouses in spying on their partners. One such programme will show a person all emails sent to and from their partner and another will enable screen shots of a person's computer screen to be taken at set intervals, allowing their partner full sight of exactly what they have been doing!

Before relying on these technologies yourself, please be aware of the legal implications of such actions. A recent case highlighted the dangers of copying or seizing personal information by a wife in financial proceedings against her husband. The Court was highly critical of the wife's actions. Invading someone's privacy by spying on them could lead to breaches of the Data Protection Act and is potentially a criminal offence.

If you do find incriminating evidence and wish to use it against your partner as grounds for a divorce, it is extremely important that you speak to a solicitor about disclosure of such evidence.

Law firm George Davies


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