In our last blog post, we began discussing the important role that social media is increasingly playing in both contributing to divorce and during divorce proceedings. In this post, we’ll examine how evidence mined from a soon-to-be ex-spouse’s social media account may be useful when negotiating divorce and custody matters.
Social media website like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide a virtual platform through which an individual can freely communicate with others. For some individuals, the line between one’s real-life and virtual life becomes burred and a husband or wife may engage in online flirting or use a social media account to arrange details related to a real-life affair.
In addition to finding evidence to prove that a spouse is cheating, a husband or wife can view a spouse’s social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram for visual evidence. For example, a spouse may be tagged in a compromising photo or a time stamp of a photograph or post may indicate that a spouse lied and was somewhere that he or she shouldn’t have been.
Evidence from a spouse’s social media account may also reveal clues that he or she is hiding assets. For example an estranged spouse may claim that he or she is broke and meanwhile post photographs related to a recent expensive purchase or vacation. Likewise, this type of evidence can also prove beneficial in child custody and support cases.
With regard to one’s own social media use, it’s never advisable to attempt to hide or delete something that’s been published or posted. Anything that ever existed online can be retrieved and attempting to hide evidence only raises suspicions. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to use one’s own social media accounts as a platform to post disparaging comments about an ex or his or her new love interest.
When it comes to social media and divorce and child custody proceedings, it’s wise to consult with an attorney. An attorney can advise an individual on what to do and not do with regard to the discovery of evidence via a spouse’s social media accounts and also provide advice related to one’s own social media activities.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Facebook Divorce,” Aug. 11, 2015