Temptation pulls at our heartstrings, and it can be at the very core of a divorce. But if you are tempted to lurk on social media to find out what your future ex is up to, make sure you don't blur the line between investigation and cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is a crime, and can really disadvantage your position in a divorce case.
Cyberstalking is a Slippery Slope
During the course of a divorce, it may be helpful to gather information found on social media. For instance, your future ex may claim you two have no liquid assets to divide, but then posts a picture on Facebook of vacationing in Hawaii with extravagant luxuries. That information might be helpful, but it may also get your blood boiling. If you find yourself lurking online, unsupervised, with a drink in your hand, you may want to ask a friend for intervention before the reconnaissance missions becomes cyberstalking.
Divorce Isn't a Crime - But Cyberstalking Is
Cyberstalking is using the internet to intimidate, harass, embarrass or threaten another person. This includes texts, emails, and social media posts. So if you see that Facebook post and you post a reply such as, "Eureka! I'm coming after your money and everything else," that may be considered cyberstalking.
Stalking is a crime in all fifty states, and cyberstalking is a crime that some courts choose to put under these stalking laws. Cyberstalking can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and your criminal history.
If you are in the process of separating or divorce, and you have questions about cyberstalking, contact Swier Law Firm's Family Law Practice Group.