The times are changing when it comes to divorce. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 57 percent of divorce cases use evidence found on social media status updates. Furthermore, 64 percent of divorce cases use evidence found on dating profiles. If you’re facing a divorce, you need to be smart when it comes to social media. Anything you post could come back to haunt you in the courtroom. Here’s what you need to know:
Evidence found on social media can affect a number of issues in a divorce, including distribution of property, alimony and time-sharing (custody). For distribution of property and alimony, the court may consider evidence of any factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. For time-sharing, the court may consider evidence of any factor which relates to the best interest of the child. Often, courts find this evidence on social media sites, such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.
During your divorce, keep your social media presence as discreet as possible. Assume that anything you post will be seen by your ex-spouse and their attorney. This includes updating your status, checking in at locations, changing your relationship status and tagging photos. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:
- Comments that disparage your ex-spouse
- Comments that may be interpreted as hostile or threatening
- Activity that places you in a negative light as a spouse or parent
- Photos that portray you as a drug user or heavy drinker
Social media sites allow users to place privacy settings. This allows you to share information with only selected individuals, such as close friends or family members. However, attorneys often request access to private social media accounts during the discovery process. During a divorce, nothing you post online is truly private.
If you’re heading towards divorce, you need to consult with a skilled Orlando divorce attorney. An experienced lawyer can help ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.