Just as technology has changed society , it has significantly altered the divorce landscape. Divorce mail, or D-mail is a modern phenomenon in family court. More and more lawyers deal with the use and abuse of technology. E-mail and text messaging , and other issues we didn’t confront, even 5 years ago, are becoming common. And while before, parental access issues were limited to physical time spent, now an additional digital layer has been added. Is it appropriate for the children to text mom when they are in dad’s care? Or vice versa?
Feuding parents now frequently communicate via D-mail as opposed to telephone or face to face contact. Perhaps this is a good thing inasmuch as it limits acrimonious face to face contact. But sometimes the communications are so obsessive and frequent they become near abusive.
And speaking of communication, spouses monitor each other’s e-mail communication if passwords or privacy controls are not used. To be allowed insight into a spouses private communications during a divorce is an unbelievable godsend for an angry, if not curious, soon to be ex-spouse.
Another implication is the evidentiary trail this digital communication leaves. How many angry e-mails have been presented as evidence, whereas a couple of years ago an angry comment made in a phone call would have simply been denied. And what goodies are left on the home computer, to be nabbed by the aggrieved spouse’s forensic expert?
Not unlike modern life in general, technology can either be a useful enhancement to the quality of our lives, or a torturous complication. Divorce is no different.