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Divorce and electronic information: What happens to it?

Kentucky readers know that the end of a marriage brings many complicated matters, most of which pertain to property division, child custody and money. In addition to these important things, it is also critical to consider what happens to one's personal information and online privacy in the event of a divorce. A recent high-profile case involving Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin and an FBI investigation has brought this important issue to national attention.

In many divorces, online data becomes a weapon used by opposing counsel to bolster clients' cases. Anything and everything that has ever been emailed, posted online or messaged can be dug up and used as ammunition in a contentious divorce. Most of the information that could be made public is not incriminating, but it could influence a custody decision, career opportunities or ruin a reputation.

Since lawyers search for usable electronic data, it is beneficial for a person to begin to protect his or her interests as soon as possible. A person would be wise to separate all electronic accounts and change passwords immediately after deciding on a divorce. It is also prudent to work with an experienced lawyer regarding privacy and protecting important information.

Divorce is a complex process, and electronic data is just one of the many complicated issues that must be addressed. By securing the help of a lawyer as early in the process as possible, one can work toward keeping certain information private while seeking a positive outcome to all divorce disputes. Kentucky readers should assume that their electronic data will be important factors in their divorces and appropriately address any concerns.

Source: The New York Times, "In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers", Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor, Oct. 31, 2016

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