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Technology complicates divorce issues for Connecticut residents

When a Connecticut spouse who has been in an abusive or controlling relationship decides to end the union, that person's significant other may not be ready to move on. Controlling and abusive partners can make leaving the relationship, filing for divorce and working through divorce issues a fearful and stress-laden event. Advances in technology have made access to a person's whereabouts, phone conversations and other private matters legally available to almost anyone who wishes to track that person using a GPS or tracking application installed on that person's cell phone.

A woman who wishes to keep her identity hidden to safeguard her and her child says that her ex-husband was once a very devoted and loving person. She never thought he would become the obsessive, manipulative and controlling individuals he is now. After a disagreement one evening, her then-husband told her that she was his and no one else's. This was the point that made the victim realize she had to leave her husband and seek safety.

The terrified woman failed to realize that the very device she used to communicate with her safe houses and the vehicle she used to transport her and her child to these locations were giving her ex-husband her exact whereabouts, and he was also able to gain information from text messages that she thought she was sending in private. With the very legal tracking systems in place, her husband was able to watch her every move. Once the woman was aware of what was going on, she traded her phone for another one; however, in doing so, she inadvertently got rid of the evidence she could have used against him for stalking.

The legality of stalking in Connecticut with the use of phone applications and GPS devices is blurred. Obtaining a restraining order and filing for a divorce while proving stalking can be tricky and complicate the process of working through any other divorce issues. A resident who finds him or herself in a similar situation has the advantage of seeking an attorney who is well versed in family law. Obtaining and submitting the evidence to allow the violated spouse to finally be free from the controlling ex is just the beginning of the services an attorney can provide.

Source: tpr.org, "Digital Spying And Divorce", Aarti Shahani, Jan. 14, 2018

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