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Divorce prompts some people to use digital spy technology

The problems that cause people in Maryland to pursue divorce range from simply growing apart to abuse. Whether someone wants to gather evidence about a spouse's infidelity or stalk someone, digital spy technology offers cheap and easy methods for tracking movements and monitoring computer activity.

GPS tracking devices attached to a car allow people to know exactly where vehicles go. In one case, a woman discovered one on her car. She had been trying to avoid her ex-husband, but he always seemed to know where she had been. When she filed a police report about the activity, she learned that a prosecutor would not pursue charges because she and her ex-husband still jointly owned the vehicle.

The law often has a murky view of evidence gathered against former spouses through digital technology. Parents have a right to install spyware on computers and smartphones to track children, but adult-on-adult tracking generally requires consent. Law enforcement sometimes refuses to investigate digital invasions of privacy. Pricey private investigators represent an option for people who want to find out how they are being tracked.

Divorce attorneys increasingly encounter people who want to use digitally harvested evidence in their divorce cases. Some attorneys accept the evidence if they believe that it was collected legally. Other law practitioners, however, avoid the evidence because it could be open to legal challenges.

When a person starts the divorce process, legal advice may help someone understand parental rights and the laws that guide property division. An attorney may be able to explain how to organize financial records and recommend strategies for protecting nonmarital assets or documenting domestic violence. If private negotiations with a former partner cannot produce an agreement, an attorney may litigate the divorce and strive to gain a ruling from a family court judge that reflects the person's needs.

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