Effect of Social Media on a Divorce
By Angela Sanders Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 12:14 AM EST
In years past most marital fights and indiscretions occurred behind closed doors, and after the fact there was no record of what had transpired. Today, with the increase of technology, things we say on cell phones, online, and even in the presence of cameras can be stored indefinitely and used against us years later. While advanced technology, including social media, has had a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives, it seems to be creating particular problems in the area of marriage and divorce.
Impact of Social Media on Marriages
Ten years ago if a person wanted to hook up with an old flame or start a casual romance they almost always had to physically leave their home to do it. The effort involved in straying from one's partner was much greater than it is today. With the click of a mouse, a disgruntled marriage partner can find another individual to connect to within minutes. Some people think connections made online are not technically cheating. Even for those who take this view, it's still unfortunate that many times online connections turn into physical affairs. By some estimates divorce has increased up to 20 percent during the previous 10 years because of social media.
Social Media and Divorce
Approximately 81 percent of marital lawyers have admitted either using or having to deal with information that was taken off of social media. During a divorce or custody case many individuals present themselves in a light that is often proven false when information on the internet is discovered. A man may claim he no longer has a drinking problem and then posts photos of himself inebriated online. A woman going through a divorce and trying to gain custody of her children may be found to have gone online to a dating sight claiming to be single and without children.
Legal Aspects of Social Media
Individuals must realize that anything posted on social media can potentially be used against them during divorce proceedings. Some of the things that are most often used in court include spouses attacking each other on Facebook or Twitter, and messages one of the spouses has sent to someone of the opposite sex that are considered inappropriate. What is posted on social media can be used in court during divorce cases. Pictures and messages on social media can even be used to show a person's state of mind.
Tips For Avoiding a "Social Media" Divorce
If an individual suspects their interaction with others on social media is inappropriate, it probably is. Sometimes simply accepting a friend request from an old flame can lead to marital trouble. During a divorce people should keep a low profile on social media. This means not bragging about what a great time they're having and not posting "party" pictures. It may be a good idea to change passwords or block the future ex spouse from all social media sites. In some instances it may be best to just delete Facebook or Twitter accounts.
About the author:
The Cantor Law Group is a full-service Family Law Firm located in Phoenix, AZ. If you live in the State of Arizona and have questions about divorce, child custody, adoption, or any other family law matter, please see our website for more information: http://cantordivorcelawyers.com