An Infidelity App?
Is technology making it more difficult to have an affair? The most lawyerly answer possible is, “it depends.” Cell phone records, browser histories, GPS tracking, apps like Find my iPhone, and keystroke recorders all make it somewhat easier to track a careless (or clueless) cheating spouse.
On the other hand, several apps seem to be making infidelity an increasingly easy secret to keep. Several apps make it fairly easy to hide texts, phone calls, photos, etc. Perhaps the most widely known of these is Snapchat which allows users to exchange photo and video messages that self-destruct after opened by the recipient. Burner phones are no longer just for drug dealers. An app called Burner makes it possible for users to easily create and destroy alternative phone numbers with which they can send and receive calls and messages.
Fortunately, for New York matrimonial attorneys anyway, the mere existence or absence of an extramarital affair no longer carries the legal significance it once did. Now that New York has joined the ranks of states with “no fault” divorce grounds, a spouse’s affair may not even be legally noteworthy in a divorce action. However, an affair becomes legally significant when the cheating spouse has used marital funds to purchase extravagant gifts, meals, and vacations (for example) throughout the affair. This is what the court refers to as “marital waste,” and will likely entitle the other spouse to a portion of the expended funds.
We always advise our clients to educate themselves on the details of their marital finances. Do you have a list of all of your accounts? Savings, checking, and brokerage accounts? Including retirement investments? Credit cards? If you don’t already have online access, have you asked your spouse to add you as an authorized account user? Sign up for a service like Mint that tracks all of your accounts and your spending.
Our attorneys believe in the importance of staying informed on the latest trends and technology in order to best serve our clients. We combine our knowledge of the latest tech tools with our authority to issue subpoenas (among other legal tools), to help provide our clients with a fair financial outcome.