The advent of social media is a fantastic way for people to share content as well as stay connected with friends and family. It has also become a novel tool to be wielded during divorce proceedings.
Sharing information on social networks, whether it be posts or media content, can create problems for individuals involved in a divorce. Recent trends have shown that social media postings are more regularly being used as evidence against spouses wrapped up in a divorce proceeding. These posts can affect either or both spouses and can impact disputes regarding child custody, alimony, and support payments, among other things.
Posting to Social Media
Social media posts can feature information that may be used against a spouse. While most posts are innocent and of little evidentiary value in a legal proceeding, some posts can provide insight into a lifestyle that is contrary that being claimed by a spouse. For example, social media posts regarding lavish and expensive vacations taken during divorce proceedings can run contrary to the spouse’s claims that he or she faces financial complications and does not have the finances necessary to pay the other spouse's alimony.
Many spouses also forget that access to social media posts is not limited to being connected to the other spouse on social media. Common friends or followers can provide additional access to information and evidence, even in situations when one of the spouses is not an individual original posting to social media.
Although social media posts can be more easily linked to matters revolving around finances, they may have an impact on a spouse’s ability to care for a child. Certain social media posts can be used as evidence to establish that the spouse’s behavior or habits are against the best interest of the child. In such situations, social media posts may be used to show the spouse has habits that could easily negatively impact a child or because the spouse regularly neglects the child at times during which he or she was responsible for the child’s well-being.
Emails and Text Messages
Perhaps the two most common forms of communication in today’s age, emails, and text messages are both admissible in court and subject to subpoenas. Therefore, the information exchanged via either of these mediums has the potential to be included as evidence in court.
Admissibility of Social Media
The rapidly changing landscape of today’s technological world comes with the potential to experience legal headaches for those with an online presence. Deleting or removing posts after the start of litigation is unlawful and can cause increased legal problems. The most effective way to prevent social media and electronic information from being used as evidence is to refrain from its use.
Still, even as laws are beginning to adapt to the rapid shift in technology, the best for any spouse going through a divorce is for him or her to refrain from using social media.
Call our office at (215) 515-8464 for more information.
If you are going through a divorce, the last thing you need is more legal headaches that stem from social media posts. If your spouse’s posts could provide you with the evidence you need to support your rightful claims to that which you are legally entitled to under the law, you should know how to make that evidence admissible. The experienced divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Smith & Horwitz will help you navigate these situations in order to achieve the best possible outcome from your divorce. Call us today at (215) 515-8464 for a consultation.