While often ignored, there is a direct link between advancing technologies and recent divorce rates. Since the inception of various technologies, be it social networks or communication platforms, it has become easy for married persons to engage in extramarital affairs. Similarly, the effects of technology aren’t unheard of when couples want to separate, especially in the divorce court.
Modern technologies play a role in complicating divorce processes. Separating couples often find that various technologies, some of which they didn’t know existed, can strengthen or hurt their case. Your ex-partner can weaponize cell phones, social media pages, hard drives, shared passwords, or emails during the case. Besides hiring an experienced attorney (Freed Marcroft is the A-team for divorce cases), you should know the effects of technology on divorce cases.
1. Communication and Documentation
Court cases, which include divorce proceedings, heavily rely on a lot of communication and documentation. Advancing technologies have significantly influenced how divorcing couples communicate and present their evidence. Top on the list are emails and text messages, which can be used in court by either party to support or challenge claims.
Divorce courts consider the content of various electronic communications when making decisions regarding child custody and division of assets. The court also considers various social media posts, as they provide insights into an individual’s lifestyle and emotional state. This explains why your divorce attorney will advise you to be cautious of what you share online during this period.
2. Division of Assets
Assets division is an important process during divorce proceedings. Modern technologies have introduced new considerations and complexities that the divorce courts should consider. For instance, unlike before, courts should consider online businesses, virtual assets, and cryptocurrencies owned by the divorcing couple during the assets division.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are part of marital assets, making them subject to division. Unfortunately, determining ownership and evaluating their current value might prove complicated, especially if one spouse understands better and has more control of these assets. The same applies to online businesses like blogs, ecommerce stores, and other digital platforms owned by the couple. Determining their fair market value presents a challenge.
3. Remote Court Proceedings
The justice system has also embraced remote court proceedings, which are conducted through various virtual platforms, especially during and after the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual court hearings provide unmatched convenience and save on travelling time and costs. The divorcing parties don’t need to travel or be present physically in the courthouse. This greatly benefits those living in different states or cities.
Modern technologies have also made it possible to conduct virtual mediation and settlement conferences. The divorcing parties can negotiate and reach an agreement with the help of a mediator remotely. Unfortunately, the adoption and transition to remote court proceedings are hindered by slight technical barriers and digital illiteracy. Privacy and cybersecurity issues are also serious concerns.
The effects of modern technologies cut across all sectors. While modern technologies contribute to the increasing divorce rates, divorce proceedings benefit from the convenience and simplicity brought by these technologies. You should consult a divorce attorney to guide you on the best way to leverage technologies during this process.