Did you know that social media networks and digital communications are contributing not only to the end of relationships, but also to issues among divorce proceedings? According to DivorceMag.com, at least 80 percent of recently polled members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have sifted out important legal evidence from sources like Facebook, Twiter, LinkedIn and other sites.
You may be familiar with all of these notorious online venues. Today, social media platforms create a whole other world where people interact and carry out their lives. The systems have become part of the norm in today’s culture. Individuals often use these sites for communications and ongoing dialogue. Many contribute regularly.
The problem is that individuals are so comfortable with Facebook and other Web sites that they are engaging in activity without thought. Individuals regularly post pictures, emotions and other comments without thinking about the consequences. Nothing is truly private on these networks, so it is imperative that users think twice before posting or uploading information.
Social media networks may provide evidence of hidden assets.
It may not even be a specific party to a divorce, but friends and relatives online could track a person’s activities, too. Therefore, if a spouse takes a lavish trip with friends, this could be evinced online without the spouse specifically posting information. Therefore, if one party asserts that he or she is struggling financially, but “friends” on Facebook provide evidence of a more comfortable life, this information could be collected and used in a family court proceeding.
Electronic messages are admissible in court.
While social media may reveal assets and other financial means, cellphones can uncover personal details, too. Did you know that your emails and text messages could be subpoenaed in your divorce matter?
For this reason, many seasoned attorneys advise clients to avoid text-based communication, including email, text messaging or online postings. Once you compose something through those mediums, they are essentially out there forever. The rule of thumb is to not place anything in text format that you would not want a judge to see. The issue is that if your text-base communications contradict the way that you have portrayed yourself in court or legal documents, this could lead to serious repercussions in your divorce case.
Social media postings are practically permanent.
Even if you deleted or covered up prior postings, it is very possible that someone can uncover this information. Sometimes, a cached version of a deleted page remains accessible through a search engine. Moreover, viewers can take a screenshot of everything you post online. Therefore, before you place anything into cyberspace, think about the fact that you are creating an electronic footprint, which could work against you in your legal case.
If you are struggling with how to manage your social networking in connection with your divorce matter, do not fret. An experienced divorce attorney can aid you through the entire process.