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Illinois divorcees need to think about digital data

Although many people believe that their digital lives are private, couples who separate should be aware of the possibility that their divorces may involve a thorough examination of the data they generate. Things like text messages, social media interactions and emails can all be used as evidence in family law proceedings. Some couples have even gone as far as to include stipulations in their marriage contracts that prohibit certain uses of social media data in divorce cases.

Experts say that data protection clauses in postnuptial and prenuptial agreements might not always withstand the test of court. As such, individuals who plan on getting divorced from their spouses may find it helpful to be careful about how they use technology. Because deleting posts or communications en masse might be regarded as implicit evidence of bad intentions, it's wise for people to minimize their online activity or at least restrict the way they use platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Couples stand to benefit from using new email accounts to keep their ongoing communications separate from prior evidence. Experts advise that couples take the extra step of maintaining closer control over their personal devices, which may include disabling shared software or changing passwords and privacy settings to prevent snooping.

Poorly managed divorces can bring out the worst in people. Individuals might take to actions like spying on their soon-to-be exes in order to discover information that they can leverage against them, and some may even take illegal actions to acquire facts that paint others in a bad light. People who are ending their marriage should learn how to protect themselves by safeguarding their data. Having the assistance of an attorney could potentially make it easier to respond to illicit uses of electronic information and determine whether such evidence should actually be allowed in court.

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