Anyone with a smart phone most likely uses one social media site or another. Social media surely has its benefits, helping to connect us to friends and family near and far. It also has its pitfalls. “Oversharing” is a common social media problem – and when it comes to divorce, oversharing can be downright disastrous.
More and more, social media and other online activity is being used in court, and even subpoenaed as evidence to be used against one or both parties in matters of child support, child custody, and alimony.
In 2010, 81 percent of top divorce lawyers in this country said they had already seen an increase in the number of cases using social media as evidence, with Facebook being the most commonly referenced source.
Social Media Risks
Even, if you are merely considering ending your marriage, tread very carefully online, or you just may regret that post, photo, or text message. Here are some of the ways your online footprint can come back to haunt you in a divorce:
- Infidelity: Online dating before your divorce is final may constitute infidelity and impact your outcome. Even in states where there is no fault divorce, if a spouse uses marital assets to fund their dating life, or is living with another significant other, their potential alimony may take a hit.
- Parenting: Some divorces require the courts to evaluate the fitness of both parents. Photos, videos, or posts about illegal, dangerous, or irresponsible behavior are not going to serve you well, especially if you are fighting for custody. Be discreet on social media and make sure your posts are something you would be okay with your children seeing.
- Finances: If you are claiming you are low on funds and just getting by, while posting photos of big ticket items and elaborate vacations, your ex and their divorce lawyer will surely start digging a bit deeper. This online evidence can be used to reduce your alimony and support.
Ask Friends and Family Not to Tag You
You should note that even if you are on your best online behavior, posts by friends, family members, and coworkers that include or “tag” you can still be incriminating. If you are going through a divorce, it is a good idea to keep a low profile on social media, or even take a break from your accounts until your divorce is final.
Even without the social media factor, divorce can be challenging emotionally and financially. It is smart to have an experienced, compassionate West Chester divorce lawyer in your corner as you navigate issues of child custody, child support, and visitation.
West Chester Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Guide Clients Through Complex Family Law Matters
West Chester divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. understand the unique challenges that come when all types of domestic unions and other relationships end. Call 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation. With offices located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area.