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What to do when your ex is stalking you

Now that technology has not only transformed our daily lives but also the dynamics of post-separation interactions, Modern Law has been seeing questions in our Modern Divorce Support Group on Facebook that ask how to deal with stalking by your ex. In the following example, a father found himself unwittingly tracked by his ex-wife using the Life360 app installed on their son’s phone. This instance sheds light on the digital age’s complexities in handling privacy, trust, and boundaries post-divorce.

The Fine Line Between Safety and Stalking

In the digital era, tracking apps like Life360 are often justified under the guise of safety and connectivity for families. However, when these tools are misused to monitor an ex-partner’s movements, it crosses into invasive territory. This behavior not only breaches privacy but can also contribute to ongoing tension and conflict, undermining the efforts to establish a healthy post-separation environment for both the parents and their children.

Legal Implications and Protective Measures

The misuse of tracking apps in the context of divorce or separation raises significant legal and ethical questions. While the intention might be to ensure the safety of children, using these apps to monitor an ex-spouse’s whereabouts without consent is considered stalking. It is crucial for individuals who find themselves in such situations to recognize their rights and the steps they can take to protect their privacy.

  1. Deletion of Invasive Apps: As a first step, removing or disabling location-sharing applications from a child’s device can help mitigate unauthorized tracking. It’s a practical measure to safeguard personal boundaries.
  2. Legal Recourse: In cases where this behavior persists or escalates, seeking legal advice is paramount. Options may include filing for an injunction against harassment or a civil order of protection. These legal tools are designed to address stalking behaviors, offering a layer of security and peace of mind for the affected individual.
  3. Open Communication: If feasible, addressing concerns directly with the ex-spouse may help resolve the issue amicably. Establishing clear boundaries and expectations regarding privacy and respectful behavior post-divorce is essential.
  4. Use of Mediation: Engaging in mediation services can also be beneficial. A neutral third party can facilitate discussions around the use of tracking apps, privacy concerns, and co-parenting agreements to ensure both parties’ rights are respected.

Managing Post-Divorce Privacy

Living in a world where technology offers unprecedented access to information, individuals must be vigilant about their digital privacy, especially in sensitive situations like divorce. It’s essential to remain informed about the legal protections available and to take proactive steps to maintain personal boundaries. Respect for each other’s privacy post-divorce is not only a matter of legality but also a foundation for fostering a healthy environment for all involved, particularly the children caught in the middle.

As we continue to grapple with these issues, it’s clear that the intersection of technology, privacy, and family law will remain a pertinent topic. For those dealing with these challenges, understanding your rights and the resources available to you is the first step towards ensuring your privacy and well-being in the aftermath of a divorce.


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