Social media has become a part of people’s everyday lives in the last decade. With sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, there are plenty of places for people to share daily updates and pictures of their lives. However, there can be a point when you share too much, and it could be affecting your relationship. In the case of a divorce, it could negatively affect both you and your case.
How it Affects Relationships
Now, more than ever, social networking doesn’t just have an effect in divorce proceedings, it has a hand in the actual reasons for divorce. If you are having trouble in your relationship, you may be able to point to Facebook. Having social media accounts makes it easier for significant others to snoop on each other, and they might not always like what they find, which could cause permanent damage. One in five divorces in the United States stated Facebook as a reason for divorce, according to ZDNet.com. Some of the reasons listed under Facebook included inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex, separated spouses sending nasty remarks to and about each other, and mutual Facebook friends reporting bad behavior.
How it Can be Used in the Courtroom
According to ABC News, “a third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word ‘Facebook,’ and more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to Divorce Online and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, respectively.” With more than 500 million people on Facebook, it can be easy to get lost in sharing all of the good news and happenings in your life. Many people have taken to also sharing their not-so-good news, and even update people on their divorce proceedings via social networks. This can be a problem because other people will get involved in your relationship and personal matters that should not be. Over-sharing can have a negative effect on divorce proceedings, especially if it contradicts what you say in family court. Lawyers can, and have, used posts on Facebook pages to use in defense of their client, or as damaging proof on the defendant. 81% of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer (AAML) members have used or encountered evidence taken from social media sites. Social networking can provide clues to hidden assets. Even if you are blocked from each other’s Facebook pages, mutual friends can still give information. Email and text messages can also be used as admissible evidence in court.
Social media doesn’t have to have a negative effect in the courtroom or in your relationship. There are ways that you can ensure that nothing you put on the internet will be damaging to you.
- Do not share anything that you would not want your spouse to see.
- Do not use social media to air out your personal grievances.
- Do not make any negative, or untrue, comments about your ex/spouse.
- Do not post pictures at social gatherings with alcohol.
- Turn off the “location” setting when you post, because they allow a timeline to be formed.
- Avoid disclosing relationship status at any time to avoid complications.
- If all else fails, de-activate your social media accounts until divorce proceedings are over.
If you have any questions on how to avoid these mistakes, call Revelli and Luzzo Law Firm in Worcester, MA. Our expert family law practitioners will be glad to help you come through your divorce with the best possible results.