The wide-spread use of social media has made it easier than ever for family, friends and like-minded individuals to connect through a wide range of electronic devices. While the ability to communicate instantaneously with others has many positives, it also makes it easier to commit deceptive actions with far-reaching consequences. Extra-marital affairs, for example, have become so common place with the advent of social media that experts warn against spending too much time on sites like Facebook and Twitter. There are also countless articles stating that your partner's constant use of social media sites is a "red-flag" that he or she is cheating.
Such articles, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. Many people use their social media accounts for work, or have family and friends that live far away. It would be understandable in these cases that someone would receive and send many messages throughout the day. Before you jump to conclusions, it's important to think through all the reasons why your spouse is behaving in a certain way. You should also speak to your spouse about these concerns in a calm and non-confrontational manner. Do not, however, attempt to confirm your suspicions by going through their phone or personal computer. Even if the devices are kept in your marital home, individuals do have an expectation of privacy for personal devices and password-protected accounts. This means that going through your spouse's chat logs could be considered an illegal act, making any information you find inadmissible in court. If you are filing on grounds of adultery, this would in essence take away the entire basis of your case.
Furthermore, you could be facing criminal charges for violating the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. Currently, there are no specific laws pertaining to inter-spousal spying, but there have been cases in which individuals were charged with computer crimes for accessing their spouse's email accounts without permission. Although no one has yet to be convicted for inter-spousal spying, it's clear that the courts are starting to take these cases seriously. Considering the recent Supreme Court decision on cell phone privacy rights, legal experts predict that it won't be long before the laws are amended to include email and social media accounts. In the meanwhile, you can still be charged with a criminal violation, which is an extremely serious matter. Depending on the investigation, it could take over a year before your case is brought to trial. Even if the charges are dropped, you will end up with a tarnished reputation that may never be fully repaired.
As you can see, there are many legal issues that you may encounter throughout your divorce. Without proper understanding of these issues, you may end up with an unfavorable divorce settlement. Even worse, you could end up facing criminal charges depending on your actions or negligence. Please consult an experienced divorce attorney in order to protect yourself from such devastating consequences.