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What role can cyberstalking play in a California divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Divorce

The internet often plays a role in modern divorces. People sometimes discover infidelity on social media when their spouse saves inappropriate chats with another person. Others use the internet to track down crucial financial records so that they can leave behind an unhealthy marriage or prove their spouse has hidden assets.   

Unfortunately, the internet can also make things more frightening for someone trying to divorce. Your ex could go on to social media to make false claims about you that damage your personal or professional reputation. They might create multiple fake accounts keep sending you threatening or harassing messages even after you block them.  

Such behavior is cyberstalking. Will it have any impact on your upcoming divorce? 

California has laws against cyberstalking

Using the internet to bully, intimidate, threaten or malign someone is surprisingly common. People sometimes think that their digital behavior carries no real-world consequences. However, California recognizes cyberstalking as a real criminal offense 

Even if your spouse has never been physically violent with you, abusive messages and threats sent over social media could potentially give you grounds to seek a restraining order. Things that someone says online could also affect your divorce proceedings and the custody of any children used to share with the person stalking you online. 

 If there is one upside to digital harassment, it is that it leaves a very obvious paper trail that could help you demonstrate unstable behavior and threats against you conclusively to the courts. 

You shouldn’t ignore threats against your safety just because they are digital

Digital communications make it easier for people to send messages when they are at their most emotional, meaning they may not necessarily mean what they say. However, cyberstalking could also help someone learn about your new schedule or even track down your new living quarters after you leave a bad relationship.   

You should report all threats made against you to the police to protect yourself and keep a record of that digital harassment so that you can prove it if you need to for your safety or the children. Understanding how California views cyberstalking makes it easier to stand up for yourself when leaving behind a controlling or abusive partner.