Are you considering or going through a divorce at this time? If so, you should be aware of the risks of using social media during divorce. Here’s some helpful information about using social media sites, like Facebook, if you’re in or will be involved in a court case for divorce, custody, co-parenting and assets.
First, you should know that social media means a wide variety of things—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, personal blogs and other online sites. With so many social sites, this post will use Facebook as the primary example, but the information applies to anything posted online via a social sites.
All social media establishes a record of communication. In essence, social media tools allow people to put details of their life where others can see it, share it and comment on it. Regardless of how ‘casual’ or informal Facebook posts may seem, posts/comments can be obtained and used in divorce proceedings. This applies to Facebook updates, tweets, photos and information posted through any other social media site. In addition to online activity, keep an eye on your emails and text messages (both to and about your ex-spouse). Most of these are now admissible as evidence in court.
In divorce proceedings, you can count on the fact that your ex-partner’s attorney will be checking out your social networking sites and the activity you post there. Sites like Facebook have become important resources for guiding questions asked during divorce proceedings. Many attorneys also conduct a Google search of all parties, including their own client.
Social Media And Divorce Statistics
- ABC News reports that four out of five American divorce lawyers note the use of social networking ‘evidence’ has increased in divorce proceedings in recent years. Specifically, research shows that 66% of online divorce evidence comes from Facebook. Many ex-spouses now use Facebook as a means to prove infidelity through inappropriate messages and other interactions via social media.
- Currently, 1 out of every 5 U.S. divorce is at least partially due to Facebook. According to Divorce-Online, legal experts all agree that those statistics will continue to grow as more and more consumers log on to these sites to share updates about their lives, logging in each day to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues. It’s no longer a rare occurrence for one spouse to learn of an affair or inappropriate behavior(s) via his/her partner’s Facebook page. Due to the nature of online activity, even if you think you have set the profile, message or post to private, it still has the potential to spread to as large a community as you can imagine. One thing to consider when putting information on social networking sites is that you can’t remove it. The entry is permanent, even if you delete it. So it comes as no surprise to learn that 81% of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers members have used or encountered evidence taken from social media sites.
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