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Digital data can come back to haunt during divorce

When many Kentucky residents hit the "delete" button on their phone, tablet or computer, they believe that the information is truly gone. In reality, however, it is very difficult to permanently delete digital data from an electronic device. In fact, doing so could require the assistance of a tech professional. That can lead to problems during a divorce.

When a spouse is suspicious that money is being hidden or some other dishonest activity is taking place, he or she can ask the court to order that the other party hand over all digital devices. Those devices can be taken to a professional, who will be able to extract an astounding amount of information. Even if the party has done nothing wrong in regard to depleting marital wealth or hiding assets, the information gained by the other party can certainly be used to harass or humiliate.

In order to protect against such an outcome, it is important to take steps to protect one's digital data or to delete material that is not of consequence to the divorce process. For someone who is not abreast of current technology, that can be a challenge. Fortunately, many of the same professionals who are called in to extract information can also be hired to permanently remove files from a device.

Of course, before any such action is taken, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney to ensure that nothing is removed that should be shared with the other party and his or her legal counsel. That said, there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect one's privacy. This is especially true during a Kentucky divorce, when spouses are not always as emotionally stable as in happier times.

Source: The New York Times, "In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers", Jonah Engel Bromwich and Daniel Victor, Oct. 31, 2016

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Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

505 Centre View Blvd.
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