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Digital devices, stalking and divorce

Stalking can be a serious problem for some people in Florida who get a divorce. In the age of smartphones and digital trackers, it can be even more intrusive. A Justice Department survey found that 3.3 percent of people who were divorced or separated reported experiencing stalking, which is more than twice the 1.5 percentage of the total population that reported it.

One woman wondered how her ex-husband always seemed to know where she was. When she took her car in for maintenance and asked that it be checked for a GPS tracker as well, a mechanic found one. However, although she reported the situation to the police, it was not illegal since her ex-husband also owned the car. The woman said she also thought her ex-husband had installed spyware on her phone. However, when she went to a store to have it checked for spyware, the solution was to switch it out for a new phone. This meant that she did not have any proof, and her husband denied installing any spyware.

Attorneys say digital spying is a problem in some divorce cases. They are split on whether they will use information obtained through such means if it was done legally. Some lawyers say they have an obligation to protect a client by any means necessary while others want little to do with the practice.

Even when stalking is not an issue, people should make sure they are careful about what information they share on social media and elsewhere since it could affect the divorce. If a spouse's behavior during a divorce makes a person worry about the well-being of their children, he or she may want to talk to an attorney. It may be possible to get temporary child custody orders that restrict the other parent's access to the children. People may also want to raise any other concerns about their spouse's behavior with a lawyer.

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