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Current divorce trends could mirror technologies impact on life

By now, most people in New York understand the role that Facebook and other social media can apparently play in a divorce, but is it the only technology in the mix? As GPS-enabled apps and wearable tech rise in popularity, information gathered from them is popping up in divorce filings at a seemingly steady pace. However, this does not seem to indicate that using this type of technology is to blame for getting a divorce, but rather an indication of divorce filings mirroring the impact of modern technology on life.

In 2012, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a study that revealed over 90 percent of divorce lawyers noted an increase in smartphone data being used in divorce filings. These increases were mostly used as evidence to support claims of infidelity. However, while this type of data has increased, it cannot actually be used as evidence in a filing. As one expert pointed out, information gathered from smartphones and wearable tech is often instead used to secure evidence, such as a private investigation after an app reported that one party was not where he or she said he or she would be on a regular basis.

Part of the reason that this data cannot be directly used as evidence simply boils down to the legality of it. The legal issues behind installing applications or other technology that can be used to track a person without their knowledge is not as straightforward as some apps might lead consumers to believe. Additionally, simply seizing data from a wearable piece of tech might be completely inadmissible without something like a subpoena or warrant behind the act.

Even if the collected data is not used to further investigate suspicions or as evidence in a divorce filing, a significant number of people in New York may simply be seeking confirmation that divorce is indeed the appropriate course of action to take. This can be especially true for those who suspect their spouses of being unfaithful. While infidelity and the decision to end a marriage are hardly new, it is interesting to observe how these issues can so closely mirror daily life.

Source: medium.com, "Divorce, Data Style", Mary Pilon, June 24, 2015

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