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NPR Highlights Issues of Divorce in the Smartphone Age

As the ways in which we use technology and interact with each other through it have changed, so too have our relationships evolved (for better or for worse). A recent story from National Public Radio highlights how technology has affected divorce in what it calls “the smartphone age.”

The piece begins with a story of a woman who was worried her former husband was stalking her. As it turns out, he had planted a GPS tracker on her car, so he was able to constantly follow her wherever she went. Because the couple co-owned the vehicle, it was technically legal, so the woman could not press charges.

This story reflects some of the other ways people can use technology to stalk or harass a former partner. Some people going through breakups go so far as to install spyware on their partner’s phone for a monthly subscription fee. There is still a lot of legal gray area regarding this practice.

Issues of stalking using mobile technology

NPR highlights information from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has, in a few circumstances, attempted to quantify the problem of stalking in the United States. The DOJ estimated that in 2012, approximately 1.5 percent of all adults were victims. More specifically, 3.3 percent of divorced or separated adults were victims of stalking.

Keep in mind that 2012 was a long time ago as far as mobile technology goes. Smartphone usage was nowhere near the levels it has reached today, and technologies have become much more sophisticated over the past five years. Thus, it is difficult to say exactly how prevalent stalking with the use of such technology is now, but odds are it is much more prevalent than it was in 2012.

If you believe you have been stalked by your estranged spouse through tech devices during a divorce, meet with a skilled Minnesota divorce lawyer to fully explore your legal options.

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