What goes on Facebook increasingly ends up in divorce court

Social media is playing an expanding and sometimes surprising role in divorce

Facebook and similar social media sites can be fun and engaging ways to stay in touch with friends and family members and most people would probably not associate social media with having a significant impact on family law. According to the Washington Times, however, Facebook is increasingly being cited in many divorce cases, often over issues of property division. While social media may appear innocent, family law experts are beginning to warn anybody involved in a divorce to be extremely cautious about how they use social media during their divorce case.

Online evidence

A recent poll found that Facebook is now being cited in one-third of divorce cases. The problem with social media is that it provides a wealth of information that could potentially be used as evidence by either party during a divorce case.

One family law expert refers to Facebook as "a massive public noticeboard" and whatever goes on it could end up in divorce court. An announcement of a new job, bonus, vacation, or other financial windfall could, for example, lead to the other spouse in a divorce case to seek an increase in child support or spousal maintenance.

Property division

As Forbes reports, however, the biggest impact of social media is often on issues related to property division. Pictures or posts on Facebook made by a former spouse can end up being used as evidence to uncover evidence of financial wrongdoing, particularly hidden assets. A former spouse, for example, may post an image of his recent getaway to Paris with his new girlfriend. While such images may not seem very serious for the one posting them, for that man's ex-spouse they could indicate that he has assets that he is not telling the court about.

And for those who think that increasing their privacy settings will take care of the problem, experts caution them to think twice. Privacy settings can only go so far and anything that is posted online, even private emails and messages, should be treated as though they could ultimately end up in before a judge. Of course, for some people going through a divorce, social media can be an important tool in getting a fair deal, whereas for others it can end up being riddled with dangers and pitfalls. As such, it needs to be treated carefully by anybody involved in any family law issue.

Handling divorce properly

Of course, most people simply cannot be expected to keep up with the almost constant changes in family law, including with how technology may impact a divorce case. As such, anybody going through a divorce should contact a family law attorney who is dedicated to staying at the very forefront of family law. Such an attorney will be in the best position to respond to the unique challenges raised by every family law case and provide his clients with the most knowledgeable advice necessary in order to move forward with confidence and expertise.