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Digital Privacy and Divorce

By Emily Kelley, Esq.

Nowadays, everything we do is digital – we text instead of call, bank online instead of driving down the street, and download our pictures instead of getting them developed. While the digital age has certainly made aspects of our lives more convenient, what happens when that privately stored information goes public? How does someone protect their privacy if their significant other "snoops" into their smart phone and decides to use that information to their advantage in the event of a divorce? In the age of social media posts being used as evidence in courts, family law attorneys are getting more and more requests for digital privacy clauses in both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

A digital privacy clause can be written into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement so a spouse cannot disclose the other spouse's personal digitally stored information in court if a divorce were to occur. But how does it work? Essentially, both parties agree not to use their spouse's private emails, text messages, and other private digitally stored information against the other to gain ground in court in the event of a divorce. It has become increasingly popular among celebrities and high net worth individuals who, if such private and negative information were to be leaked, could be particularly destructive. However, there are circumstances where less then public people are requesting digital privacy clauses to protect their interests.

But it's not just about a party shielding their affinity for sexting. Digital privacy clauses can be used to block testimony about online banking, business emails, and other corporate behavior. It's not about hiding infidelity, assets, or criminal behavior, but rather keeping private digital information that could damage one's professional reputation.

If you are considering getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or would like to discuss how digital privacy clauses work and what they can do for you and your spouse, please call the experienced family law attorneys at Feldmann Nagel.

Categories: Divorce, Family Law

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