Divorce in the Digital Age

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Nov 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Breakups are often emotionally charged, messy, and very stressful. In some cases, the breakup may be instigated by one person, and the other person does not want the relationship to end. And in desperation, that person resorts to extreme behavior that unfortunately is made all too easy to conduct in this digital age.

Spying Tools

According to a recent story from NPR, it is all too easy for couples going through a divorce to use digital spy tools to spy on one another as the relationship falls apart. From apps installed on smartphones to GPS trackers that can be installed on a car, these devices can allow one party to monitor the other party's every movement and communication.

The NPR report detailed the story of one woman, referred to as “M” to protect her identity, who suspected that her ex-husband was stalking her. “M” had left her husband and took their child with her after, she says, he choked her. Her fears of physical abuse and electronic surveillance are documented in affidavits and statements she made in family court.

“M” suspected she was possibly being followed by a private detective because her ex-husband relayed to her that he always seemed to know exactly where she was and who she was with. After learning about GPS trackers, she took her car to a mechanic and had them look for one. The mechanic found a small black box near a front tire. And it was completely legal, the police later said, because the car was owned jointly by the couple.

There's an App for That

Dozens of lawyers and marital experts were interviewed for the NPR story, and they all said that intrusive spy tools are being used more and more these days in contentious divorces. From something as simple as using the Find My iPhone app to subscription services that install spyware on a smartphone or computer, people are able to monitor their spouse's communications and whereabouts.

Sometimes the spying is done to collect evidence to be used against that person during the divorce (especially if child custody is involved), and other times it's used just to harass the other person. Divorce lawyers seem to be torn on the subject: some advocate using the evidence as long as it was legally obtained because it can help their client's case. Other lawyers refuse to be involved because they believe it can be construed as stalking, which is illegal in most states.

Jerkins Family Law

A dedicated family attorney can help you if you suspect that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has been spying on you. Jay Jerkins has helped hundreds of North Carolina clients caught in contentious divorces. If you need help with your divorce,  contact Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins or call 919-719-2785 today.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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