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Electronic communications may be used against you in divorce

Social media has become a part of how we interact and communicate with friends. Posting on Facebook, sending a text message and tweeting on Twitter have become second nature for many when events arise in their lives. These activities have become so engrained in our culture as a way to chronicle our lives that it is easy to overlook that these messages are very public – no matter what efforts people make to limit access to their social media posts.

Updating your friends on Facebook can create evidence for your spouse

It is no secret that facing divorce involves great stress. Venting on Facebook or posting a selfie taken in an exotic location may seem cathartic during a tumultuous time. Unfortunately, as Forbes reports, many people do not think of the full impact that a single post may have in court during a divorce proceeding. Moreover, some people like to show their friends and family that all is well in tough times. 

Some people are tempted to make comments or post photos that present their circumstances in a positive light – sometimes to the extent of presenting their position as much better than what may be their personal reality. In other situations, especially when going through a contentious property division battle, photos may show undisclosed assets that can harm arguments in court.

Issues that divorcing people often overlook in relation to posting on social media include:

  • Text messages and online posts may be used as evidence: Online communications may send subtle, unintended, messages about assets and other issues that can be in dispute during a divorce. Even if a message seems private, the content may be admissible in court.
  • Not all friends on Facebook are necessarily allies: When a marriage falls apart, friends of a husband or wife may tend to take sides. The nature of a friendship can change. Even if you have unfriended your soon to be ex, other people may see – and share – your messages and photos.
  • Exaggerations in online profiles can be detrimental to your case: When considering financial concerns and looking to create a potential post-divorce budget, it can be tempting to pump up the strength of online profiles and LinkedIn information.  Redefining job titles or duties online with the goal of increasing future job opportunities can cause discrepancies between your online presence and your financial position filed in family court.

Most people have some level of online presence. Discussing these issues with your divorce lawyer may help you to avoid making mistakes that can harm your position in negotiations or litigation in family court.  

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