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Social Media and Divorce 101

There may be nothing more heart-stopping than seeing the above “notifications” in the middle of a heated divorce and you may be surprised how many times this has become an issue in cases.  With the rise of social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc. it is very important to be aware of your “social profile,” especially during family law proceedings.  We’ve all heard something along the lines of “Well, my friend is still ‘friends’ with her, so I know she just bought a new car.”  With our online communities having virtually no walls, consider the following before you post.

Online activity can reveal hidden activity and assets. Even if you think you’ve blocked your deranged spouse, it is likely that you have mutual friends that can easily do some snooping or inadvertent posting that discloses sensitive information.  For example, your wife’s friend posts a comment about all the great deals they got on a recent shopping excursion, yet your wife claims she can’t afford to feed the children and needs more in child support.  Or the husband’s new girlfriend updates her status, “So excited to move into our new house!” but you have a provision regarding significant others in your Temporary Order.

Social media content, emails and text messages can be admissible evidence in Court.  This one is fairly simple.  If you don’t want the Judge to possibly read it, don’t post it, tweet it, snap it, Instagram it, like it or comment about it.  Furthermore, having a “private” account does not protect you.  In some cases, a Court could compel you to disclose your social media passwords if it can be determined that relevant evidence exists on those platforms.

This can work in your favor and vice versa. Yes, this can help you find out if your spouse is hiding that job bonus he hasn’t disclosed on his Financial Disclosure Statement but it also means he could find out about your partying habits on Tuesday nights – so beware!

Social media is a part of our daily lives and it is hard to filter yourself when emotions are high, and you find support through your online community. But practicing caution with your social profile is paramount – everything you do or say during a paternity, custody/placement or divorce process can be used against you.

Social Media and Divorce