We live in an electronic world. We have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips for a good portion of every day. While the advancement in technology has done wonders for us, it also has the potential to wreak havoc in our personal lives. With so many people sharing their personal lives on social media outlets, it’s easy to understand how it can not only ruin relationships, but also have an impact on the outcome of a divorce.
Parents are always warning their teenagers to be careful of what they are posting to social media because anyone can see it and it is there forever. It is well known that colleges and employers are looking at these sites when vetting their applicants. Posts on social media sites could easily sway their decision. Adults navigating their way through the divorce process should follow the same advice. Attorneys and ex-spouses will be doing their part in researching what can be used in a divorce case; and social media is certainly becoming a useful piece of evidence that litigants are turning to more and more in court proceedings.
The outcome of child related issues as well as financial matters could be impacted by information shared on social media. For example, if one spouse claims one thing about his/her ways of parenting, but pictures and posts on social media tell a different story, it can be used against him/her in court. One spouse posting pictures with his/her new significant other on trips and at their home could potentially be providing evidence of cohabitation, which would affect alimony. While it may seem like a good idea to delete your social media accounts so that you do not encounter these issues, doing so could also work against you. Once litigation has begun, social media can be used as evidence, and deleting an account could raise red flags and make it seem as if one party is trying to hide information. In addition, deleting a profile doesn’t necessarily delete the existence of the profile, it may still be accessible via various discovery methods, including subpoenas.
As a general rule, if you don’t want something to be used during your divorce proceeding, don’t share it online and do not write it in an email. It is always best to consult with an experienced attorney when making any decision in the divorce process.