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Electronic tracking devices playing a role in divorce proceedings

There have been many amazing advances in technology over the past several years. Items that were once used only by professionals are now available to any consumer in Oregon or elsewhere around the country. One example of such technology is a GPS tracker that, once installed in a car, can determine the vehicle's location at all times. While devices like this may be useful tools, they are certainly changing the way information is gathered and presented in divorce cases.

According to industry experts, couples may turn to technology tools to spy on one another. Many of these devices are inexpensive and are simple to install and use. In one instance, a wife separated from her husband discovered a tracking device in her car. However, since the car was still jointly owned, there were no criminal charges since the man had a right to know the whereabouts of the vehicle.

Some ex-spouses may use these types of devices to gather evidence for use in divorce proceedings if they suspect an affair or substance abuse. Others use them as a way of exerting control in the relationship. A troubling fact is that the laws surrounding spyware or other tracking devices are unclear. In fact, some attorneys avoid presenting evidence obtained through such means.

Electronic stalking is an issue recognized by the country's Justice Department. Statistics show that, while 1.5 percent of all the nation's adults have been a victim of stalking, the figure is twice as high for those who have been separated or divorced, at 3.3 percent. Yet, there have been relatively few criminal cases regarding stalking such as this.

Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience, whether or not individuals suspect that their whereabouts are being monitored. It would be helpful to seek the guidance of an Oregon divorce lawyer for assistance. An experienced attorney can assist clients with all aspects of the divorce process and work toward achieving the most favorable outcome in the proceedings.

Source: npr.org, "I Know Where You've Been: Digital Spying And Divorce In The Smartphone Age", Aarti Shahani and Lauren Silverman, Jan. 4, 2018

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