Social media, including Facebook, Twitter and dating sites, can personally your relationship and rights before, during, and even after your divorce is finalized. According to divorce attorneys, Facebook has been cited in 1/3 of divorce cases in 2011, and the numbers are only rising, in some cases having been directly related to the cause of divorce. In others, social media evidence or other issues arise during proceedings. Increasingly, Facebook is being used as evidence in court. When considering or facing a divorce, remember that what you project on public online profiles could be detrimental to your long-term rights and interests.
Every divorce is unique and will arise from very different circumstances, however some patterns in relationships and families can prove detrimental. This is the case with the use of social media when entering the divorce process or during proceedings. Our Birmingham divorce attorneysare experienced in keeping our clients and the community abreast of trending issues in family and divorce law. While you may already know that social media can have an impact on your divorce, here are 5 specific ways that Facebook could alter the results of your case:
1. Cheating or post-break up dating activities: Online dating activities or posting pics of your dating exploits can be damaging. Cheating or evidence of wild partying or dating could be used against you during a custody proceeding.
2. Disclosures of income or funds: What you project online could provide opposing parties to any hidden assets or other issues of income. Most couples will share contacts and once the marriage dissolves, friends may begin to choose sides. While promoting yourself online can be damaging, you could also glean important financial information about your ex through online posts.
3. Shared “friends” and other insiders: Keeping our friends, families, and colleagues informed of personal and professional happenings is common online activity. Remember that what you share could have consequences. Remember that who you could consider a “friend” or “connection” may also be searching your profile for damaging personal information.
4. Emails and texts are also admissible: Anything you share by private message or email could also be used against you during a divorce. It is in your bests interests not to put anything in an email, text message or online that you do not want shared with the court.
5. Social media at odds with court documents: What you put online can get you in trouble if it conflicts with court reports and statements. Lying on an affidavit or providing false information to the court can alter the results in your divorce and even leave you criminally liable.
As a rule, you should refrain from putting anything online that you do not also want to share with the court. Seemingly innocuous pictures with your new “friends” or out on dates can get you in trouble if it gives the wrong impression. In addition to creating hard feelings during the divorce process, you could also be looked at unfavorably in a custody dispute. Remember that what you put online is public and permanent and can have long-term consequences for your personal interests and legal rights.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.