‘Cyberspying’: Disturbing New Trend among Estranged Parents
Divorce often brings out the worst in people, but ‘cyberspying’ shows how low they can go. SmolenPlevy Principal and family law attorney Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson discusses the disturbing new trend on air with WTOP.
Cyberspying occurs when an estranged spouse uses mobile and/or smartphone technology to spy on the other parent while he or she has custody of the child. It can be as simple as forcing the child to Skype or FaceTime when the other spouse has custody, or as complex as planting a tracking device in the child’s shoelaces. Information obtained from spying may be used to paint a parent in a bad light, or as leverage or evidence in a divorce case.
Angry and suspicious spouses fail to realize how much cyberspying affects the children who are caught in the crossfire.
“The worst part of it all is, the children are put right in the middle of the debate,” says Dickerson. “As the children get older and are aware of what’s going on, that’s really not healthy for the children.”
Oftentimes, the law does not keep up with technology. There are no parameters regarding what is legal in divorce or custody cases where children are being used to facilitate cyberspying.
If handled properly, Dickerson says technology can be used for good during separation and divorce. Phones and computers can remind the other parent of feeding times and appointments. They can also be used by the child or parent during an emergency.
Listen to Dickerson discussing cyberspying on air below.