You have zero privacy . . ."
Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems
The latest photo scandal for Jennifer Lawrence, Victoria Justice and other celebrities illustrates an important point to remember in your divorce or custody case. Your photos and your information are never as secure as you think they are.
I previously discussed the fact that your Facebook and other social media can be used against you in court. Nevertheless, people often feel much more secure having their own "private" stash of photos, videos, etc. These "private" images almost certainly will not remain "private" once a civil suit is filed. If anonymous hackers are able to seemingly routinely get their hands on private photos of celebrities, how much easier will it be for someone close to you (i.e. a spouse or lover) to figure out a password or supposedly secret hiding place?
Unless you wind up with a child as a result of a one night stand, most likely the person on the other side of your divorce or custody case kno
ws you quite well. Most likely, they can guess your password to your phone without a lot of effort or they know that supposedly super-secret hiding place you use. Those will be some of the first places they look to dig up dirt on you.
In the years I have been handling divorce and custody cases, believe me I have seen people who felt the need to record, write about or photograph some pretty bizarre things. The relevance of these depends on the facts of the case and may actually be of dubious value from a litigation standpoint. However, their value for settlement negotiations can be immeasurable when the writer, video star or photo subject really, really does not want them released into the public record. The value of these can go up exponentially if you are seeking maintenance and have already started a new relationship and decided to "document" it. Why put yourself at risk?
Anything that is photographed, written down or recorded has the potential to be used against you in court. So before you decide to be a star in your own movie or you decide the world needs photos of you in your unmentionables (trust me, we don't), ask yourself if you would want your grandma to see it. Unless your grandma looks like this, in which case you should just cut to the chase and decide if you would ever want a judge to see it when deciding if you are a good parent. The best advice is simply to keep your privates private.
Photo courtesy of Amy Wilbanks
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