When a couple divorces, emotions are bound to run high and poor judgment can ensue. Though it is no excuse for bad behavior, it is not uncommon to hear tales of one spouse in the divorce taking revenge upon the other in any number of ways, including keying cars, smashing out headlights and windshields and other acts of violence.

However, a new disturbing trend is occurring in New Jersey and across the country. It is what has been deemed ‘revenge porn.’ This is the act of taking private home movies and photos a couple may have made together or for each other and then making them public. These movies and photos are of a very intimate nature and could be considered embarrassing to those individuals being targeted with the public posting of them.

Nationally, people have lost their employment due to the exposure of photos or videos deemed by their employer to be a violation of their terms of employment because of the racy or sexual nature of the photos and videos. Revenge porn, obviously, could be used for just that purpose—to cost the other spouse his or her job.

Sometimes, revenge porn is not about posting the private materials, but using them as blackmail. This could also be a form of leverage in divorce discussions so one partner can more easily get what he seeks in the settlement. If this form of blackmail occurs, legal counsel can offer advice as to how best to proceed.

Being able to get divorced in as calm and civilized a manner as possible can go a long way in helping to prevent the kind of escalation of anger that can lead to such actions as revenge porn posting. Additionally, anyone targeted by revenge porn has legal protection in New Jersey. It is the second state to legally make revenge porn a criminal offense.

Source: TIME, “Another States Moves to Criminalize ‘Revenge Porn’,” David Stout, April 25, 2014