Data from personal computers and cell phones is becoming a rich source of evidence for family law attorneys. Your family law attorney will instruct you to make sure that you have a secure email to receive attorney-client communications. If you simply change your password, you will need to make sure it is a password your spouse cannot figure out. Remember that your spouse knows you very well and may be adept at predicting what passwords you use. Too often during litigation, one party tries to gain an advantage over the other by breaking into their emails, voice mails, computers, and even faking emails and telephone calls.
Some clients set up separate emails for attorney client information, which is a good idea if the account is checked frequently. Others use a password service to generate a random password, which may be hard to remember at first but is not one that is predictable. Although most attorneys try not to leave detailed voicemails, sometimes it is essential. If you wonder why your spouse seems to know what you are doing, it may be that they are monitoring your emails and voicemails. Secure your accounts.
What can you do to protect yourself? Get new equipment. Have a forensic computer expert check your computer to make sure there are no spyware or keystroke trackers on it. Change your existing cell phone account and buy a new cell phone. The account holder can probably access your account and may be able to add location tracker services to your account to track your movements. On an iPhone, “Find My Phone” can be used if your spouse knows your iTunes passcode.
Remember not to destroy your old equipment or delete any data during your family law proceeding, because this could be considered “spoliation” and you could face penalties.
Along with that, make sure not to use an employer provided email account to receive attorney-client privileged communications. Your employer may have a policy that all emails received or sent on the account belong to the employer, thus waiving the attorney-client privilege. A subpoena to the employer for all emails to you on your employer provided email could result in your communications with your attorney being revealed to your spouse.
If you or someone you know is in need of help in a divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney.