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Data collection and your Missouri divorce

With the advent of smartphones, life has changed for many Missouri residents. We now have the power to find the cheapest gas prices, locate the nearest Chinese restaurant, keep up with friends and family and catch up on work — all using a relatively tiny personal computer that fits in our pockets and is also able to make a simple phone call. What few realize, however, is that the same technology that can give us almost instant driving directions to our next destination is also able to track our whereabouts at any given point in time. For spouses who are preparing to divorce, smartphones can be used to secure a great deal of information.

One of the most useful applications of smartphone technology lies in the gathering of GPS data. By installing a simple, cheap and easily attainable piece of software, individuals can collect GPS data over a period of time, and access the results remotely. In this way, a spouse can determine if their partner is where he or she claims to be, and if there are any deviations from their normal patterns of travel. This can be key to uncovering hidden assets, or to obtaining proof of infidelity.

Another common means of using smartphones as instruments of surveillance lies in keystroke and screen grab applications. These programs allow for the collection of virtually every action undertaken on a phone. The software runs in the background, and the average user would never even know that it has been installed. Here again, the collected data can be accessed without every having to physically touch the phone, giving a spouse a powerful upper hand when it comes to searching for the truth.

Not every piece of information obtained by this type of electronic surveillance is admissible in court. However, Missouri spouses who feel that their partner is being less than honest about his or her activities can still benefit from the smartphone tools mentioned above. In some cases, spouses have been able to uncover hidden assets that might otherwise been overlooked, which can have a significant impact on the outcome of the property division process. For others, having confirmation of an extramarital affair is the turning point in deciding to file for divorce.

Source:, “Divorced by Data“, Mary Pilon, June 24, 2015