Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube continue to gain popularity. It may seem like everyone, from your friends to your parents to your children, is using social media in some fashion. It's probably no surprise then that many individuals who are going through a divorce use social networking websites. What may be more unexpected, is that social media evidence may impact the outcome of divorce proceedings.
More than 80 percent of divorce lawyers said that the number of cases using social networking evidence has risen substantially since 2006, according to recent research by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Sixty-six percent said Facebook was the main source of online divorce evidence.
In particular, photos posted on Facebook can potentially make a big impact. For instance, pictures of a husband or wife drinking or partying may influence child custody decisions. Photos of expensive purchases or vacations may reveal hidden assets, or otherwise impact alimony or property division judgments.
What should you do with your Facebook account if you are involved in a divorce? First and foremost think about photos, status updates or anything else you may post. Even if you are not doing anything wrong, think about how statements or pictures could be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Additionally, as much as possible, try to separate your social networking circles from your soon-to-be ex. Even if you are on friendly terms now, you never know when feelings may change.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Don't Let Social Media Sabotage Your Divorce," Bari Zell Weinberger, April 24, 2012.