Step away from the computer: how social media can hurt your divorce

Tweets, Facebook status updates and texts all allow us to keep our friends and family members up to date on life happenings. Although the current ability to openly publicize every aspect of one's life is comforting for some people and can lead to instant gratification as friends step forward and offer support, these postings can cause big problems for those heading to divorce court. Contact a Mathews Group attorney before posting anything about your future ex or your divorce.

Before updating an account with an explanation of a future ex's downfalls or uploading a photo showing that a divorce is keeping you from having a good time, keep in mind that his or her attorney is probably monitoring your site.

How social media can be used against you

Generally, courts allow information shared on social media sites to be considered in divorce determinations. A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found over 80 percent of divorce attorneys have seen an increase in cases involving social networking evidence over the last five years. The vast majority of this evidence comes directly from an ex's Facebook page.

Courts have reviewed information from status updates, tweets and even pictures posted online when making determinations in divorce proceedings. Listing these updates as private may not matter, as some courts have allowed postings viewable only by family and friends to be considered in their decisions.

This information can impact a divorce proceeding in many ways, but two of the biggest areas are child custody and alimony decisions. Venting on Facebook about the responsibilities tied to raising children after a break-up could be used against a parent in a custody battle, while pictures of vacations to exotic locations could contradict an attempt to avoid paying spousal maintenance due to economic hardship.

The easiest way to avoid social media entering the divorce proceeding? Take a step back from the computer. Although it is not necessary to cancel subscriptions or completely avoid participating in social updates, be aware that any posting or picture could turn up in court.

Social media is impacting divorce cases across the country, and this relatively new change in evidence allowed into divorce court is one example of how family law is always evolving. As a result, if you or a loved one is going through a divorce it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss your unique situation and better ensure your legal rights are protected. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation online or call us at 913-660-0664 to discuss your case today.