In recent years, with the surge in the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, married people’s activities on these sites have either become the cause of divorce or been used as evidence in divorce cases.
A study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, found that people who use Facebook more than once an hour are more likely to “experience Facebook-related conflict with their romantic partners.” The study was conducted by doctoral students at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, University of Hawaii at Hilo and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Because of the connectivity social media provides, people in relationships are able to reconnect with old partners and physically or emotionally cheat or snoop on their partners, resulting in jealousy and instability in the relationship.
In addition, social media posts can also be used against you in divorce proceedings. A 2010 survey of the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers showed that two-thirds of American lawyers use Facebook as a primary source of evidence in divorce cases. The following are examples of evidence that lawyers can gather from Facebook or other social media and use in a divorce case:
- Compromising photos of partying with alcohol
- Checking in or being tagged when parent is supposed to be with child/children
- Posts related to luxury purchases or travel that indicate a wealthy lifestyle
- Posts with new partners that may anger your spouse and make settlement difficult
- Nasty posts about your spouse that may get back to him and make settlement difficult
The best approach is to be careful on social media. Understand that your posts may be used against you in any divorce proceeding. Request that your friends not tag you in any post without your prior permission. Request that your friends not include photos of you in their posts without prior permission. Use good judgment when posting anything, keeping in mind that you want to present yourself as a good parent with a reasonable lifestyle.
For specific advice on how to navigate the choppy waters of divorce, please contact Marina Manoukian at Adli Law Group.
© 2017 Marina Manoukian