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Cyberstalking and Divorce: What You Need to Know

Couple Going Through Divorce
With the popularity of online tracking, social media applications, and other technology that easily tracks people's whereabouts, the thought of privacy becomes a concern, particularly when you go through a divorce. While the increase in digital technology has made keeping in touch with friends and family easier, it also opens you up to cyberstalking.
Going through a divorce is difficult enough without worry your spouse could be stalking you online. If you believe this is happening to you, you need to keep the following information in mind.
Defining Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking is a form of bullying and is stalking a person online. One person stalks another by reading through his or her social media profiles, checking where he or she posts online, reading posts made to other people's accounts, and the like.
This type of activity seems like a perfectly normal use of social media. However, a person can get to a point where he or she becomes obsessive over the whereabouts of another person. The searching and stalking of social media accounts can get dangerous, particularly when the cyberstalker becomes threatening and aggressive.
Examples of aggressive behavior include leaving concerning comments, delivering threats, bullying, or even creating a fake profile to bully another person anonymously.
Social media profiles are open to the public, even when you have the option to add security options. Many couples who are divorcing will go through each other's social media to see what they are doing, whether or not they are in another relationship, how they spend money, and the like. However, you must be careful to not go overboard, or else you could be guilty of cyberstalking.
Normal searching of your spouse's online accounts is a normal occurrence in divorce, but making threats or disparaging remarks are not. If this is happening to you, you need to know how to protect yourself and your privacy.
Protecting Yourself
If you believe your spouse is cyberstalking you, you need to protect yourself. The first thing to do is decrease your presence online, at least temporarily. When you do post online, be careful about what you say. Anything you post could be used against you in court. Do not say anything online about your spouse, your divorce, your kids, or anything about your personal life.
You also should change your passwords to all social media accounts and apps you use. Avoid engaging with your spouse online in any way. If you have a contentious relationship, communicate through your respective attorneys.
Taking Legal Action
If you begin to feel threatened and the cyberstalking becomes criminal, you need to take legal action. Legal action is necessary whenever the activity goes beyond public comments. Legal action is necessary if you believe your spouse hacked into your accounts to spy on you and gain access to your information.
You also need to seek legal action if your spouse harasses you either publicly or privately online or slanders your name or falsely accuses you of something. If the stalking gets to a point where you feel you are in danger, the action of your spouse can be a form of domestic violence, which comes with criminal charges.
If you feel threatened and unsafe, you need to speak to your attorney and consider a restraining order against your spouse, which extends to online contact.
Your safety during a divorce is very important to us. If you need assistance with your divorce or need assistance with other family law matters, please contact us at Witzel & Zoeller, Lawyers PC. We are happy to help you get peace and move on with the rest of your life.
321 Woodland Pass, Suite 300
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-337-8324

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