In an age where everything is computerized, people are often caught off guard when they find out that a simple check can reveal years of online search and computer history. A good example is the recent scandal with the Ashley Madison hack. Many people felt assured that their information was secure until a hack revealed everyone’s address, credit card information, log-ins and even the location where the users signed in. Many people were shocked that this information could ever be disclosed. And yet that is the reality–anything and everything you do online is recorded somewhere and can be disclosed with the proper resources.
The same can be done in a divorce proceeding. Using the appropriate resources, computer forensics can help discover your spouse’s online searches and web history. In some cases, this information has revealed that a spouse who claimed he was “Mr. Mom” was actually online playing poker the entire day. In another situation, computer forensics showed that a spouse who claimed she was never informed that her husband was married was lying–chat history showed conversations prior to the marriage revealing this information and showed that the spouse also had a copy of the marriage certificate.
Computer forensics could also reveal hidden assets, fund transfers, driving directions to safe deposit boxes, unknown credit cards and bank accounts. It is an electronic trail to someone’s life and character. It could show additions to gambling, shopping, drugs, pornography and extramarital affairs.
If you feel this is something that could reveal important information in your case, make sure to consult your attorney about the possibility of utilizing computer forensics. If, on the other hand, you feel that a potential computer search could put your divorce case in jeopardy, make sure to change your password, including your security questions, delete searches and even possibly switch out computers to ensure that any information saved on your computer cannot be accessed. While that may be too little too late, it will at least thwart off the discovery of any potentially damaging information.