TJC ESQ is now part of Burns & Levinson


| Nov 22, 2017 | Divorce

The first iPhone was revealed just a decade ago, but the smartphone has already completely turned the world on its head. It is more surprising these days to see someone without a smartphone than someone with one. Indeed, walking by the average elementary school, you will assuredly see little kids holding a phone or even a tablet that is three times the size of their hands.

The greatest advances in technology in recent years are not just the smartphone itself, but also what it has allowed the average person to do. Apps and social media are breakthrough technologies that made it easier than ever to access new information, play recreational games, and connect with friends and family all around the world. Step even closer today in the timeline and you will find the advent of “cloud” storage, which keeps stores unfathomable amounts of data despite not needing physical storage space on a device.

Yes, the many changes of technology in such a short amount of time has altered the face of the world and our day-to-day lives. Perhaps most notable, romance, marriage, and even divorce have been impacted heavily yet subtly by new technologies.

Courtship, Marriage & Divorce in the Digital Age

Without sounding too much like a science fiction program, technology has become noticeably integrated into all facets of our lives. It is no surprise, then, to see that tech advances have changed the face of marriage and divorce as well.

Five major ways that technology upgrades have changed our relationships, for better or for worse, include:

  • Social media shows us everything: Point to someone at random and they most likely are on at least one social media outlet, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat being among the most popular choices. Even octogenarians know how to pop open Facebook and see what their grandkids are doing. The catch with social media being everywhere is that it shows everyone everything. It is now easier than ever to catch untrustworthy spouses engaging in infidelity since social posts and Google Maps “check-ins” are two dozen a dime. Even if someone is careful not to post suspicious or untruthful activity onto a social media feed, there is a high chance that someone else who knows about it will. In effect, secrets have become harder to keep.
  • Electronic discovery: Some dishonest spouses in divorce try to hide assets and important information from their soon-to-be ex in order to gain some sort of advantage in the divorce, like obtaining more property when marital assets are divided. In the digital age, squirreling away important information is next to impossible, especially when an experienced divorce attorney is helping manage the divorce. Nearly everything is tracked to some degree by data codes and online links. Long gone are the days of hiding financial ledgers in the basement.
  • Technology addiction: Some psychology experts, sociologists, and marriage counselors see the rising popularity in handheld and everyday technology as the cause behind the rising divorce rates across the country, as well as the decline in new marriages. The fear – or at least the eyebrow-raising conclusion – is that people are addicted to the smartphones in their pockets so much so, they fail to care for current and budding relationships. Married couples may be inclined to just watch Netflix and barely talk to one another than try to grow closer or stay together. Newlyweds might rather scroll through their Instagram feeds for fun photographs of Paris rather than go out to the City of Love themselves. There have even been people who file for divorce and cite their spouse’s addiction to an online video game, like League of Legends!
  • Online dating: Technology may be causing some splits, separations, and divorces, but it is also bringing people together, perhaps just as quickly as it divides them. Social applications geared for dating, like Tinder and OK Cupid, are massively popular, boasting the formation of hundreds of dates a day when all apps are considered. Some website and apps, like, are even focused on creating long-term relationships that eventually lead to marriage.
  • Divorce is easier with technology: In another bit of good news, technology has actually helped make divorcing simpler. Any family lawyer with a few decades of experience can tell you how much paperwork had to be lugged around, signed, and filed for the average divorce. Thanks to everything going digital, you can just bring a flash drive in your pocket with you and not lose a thing. Or, you can use the flash drive as a backup and rely primarily on cloud stored information. Making new copies or sending a client a crucial file in the dead of the night is a breeze now, all thanks to technological advancements.

Rhode Island’s Leading Family Law Firm – 401-400-4254

At TJC • ESQ, our Rhode Island divorce lawyers have been practicing long enough to see the face of marriage and divorce change dramatically due to emerging technologies; Attorney Timothy Conlon has been a family law attorney since 1989. We have learned to use all of this tech to our client’s advantages, though. If you are going through a divorce or need to file for one, we can use our advanced knowledge of new equipment to discover hidden assets, find evidence of infidelity, send large files on the fly, and much more. To learn all about our law firm and services we offer, you can contact us online to set up an initial consultation.


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American Association For Justice
Pound Civil Justice Institute Member Fellow
NewsWeek Leaders in Showcase Family Law 2011
Super Lawyers Timothy J. Conlon Selected in 2020
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