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Family Law

Privacy in Family Matters

Family law frequently involves some of the most intimate and personal details of a person’s life. Whether it’s a divorce, allocation of parental responsibilities, or some other family law case, there’s a substantial likelihood that private details will be made public, or at least semi-public. As a result, our clients understandably tend to express concerns with privacy and how to maintain some semblance of normalcy during the pendency of their case. This brings us to our topic for today — privacy in family matters.

Privacy Concerns

While people are in an ongoing relationship (especially in marriage), information tends to flow freely. Because of this free flow of information, couples may come to learn extensive information about their partner. Occasionally, this information may include passwords, account information, website access credentials, and a whole host of other means of access. As a result, partners may be able to access each other’s phone, email, social media accounts, or various websites. Furthermore, there are more obvious privacy concerns that may be implicated, such as place of employment, contact info of friends and coworkers, or even place of residence. While this information may pose no concern to a healthy relationship, if the relationship terminates, it can bring about some rather serious privacy concerns.

Impacts of Access

If a jilted ex-partner retains login credentials or other means of account access, it can be problematic and may be damaging to the process of a family law matter. Furthermore, there can be serious privacy concerns if people are able to monitor the activities of a former lover. For example, a former spouse with sufficient access may be able to monitor their ex’s emails, text messages,  phone call history, or even GPS location history. Additionally, if the ex is particularly vindictive, they may be able to make changes to various accounts, make substantial purchases, or potentially block their ex’s access to their own accounts. While this behavior might carry the possibility of criminal penalties, it is a real concern that unfortunately impacts many people in the midst of a family law case.

Promoting Privacy

While you may have made a regrettable decision to share certain private details with your ex, there are steps you can take to regain your privacy. While the extent of the measures taken will largely be influenced by the level of concern in your particular circumstances, there is much that can be done. For example, you can change the passwords/credential information for various accounts. If you’re concerned that your ex may be monitoring your phone, you can seek assistance from a tech person to check for monitoring software. If there are deeper concerns, such as your ex knowing where you live or work, a protection order may provide some peace of mind. If that doesn’t go far enough, perhaps moving or a change of employment may be required. Again, your response will largely be dictated by the circumstances of your own situation.

Final Thoughts

Family law cases involve some of the most personal parts of a person’s life. Unfortunately, in some cases, there can be issues with privacy in family matters. If you have concerns with privacy in your case, you may wish to speak to a family law attorney. At Modern Family Law, we provide consultations with our attorneys for free. Give us a call today for a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys.

Posted May 31, 2017
by: MFL Team

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