How Social Media Can Hurt or Help Your Divorce Case
The growth of social media has had many unexpected consequences. If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance companies involved may scan your Facebook page to see if you recently admitted fault for the crash online. When applying for a job, you can expect your potential employer to review your Twitter feed and your LinkedIn connections. Similarly, what you post online can have a direct impact on your divorce proceedings.
According to a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over 80 percent of divorce attorneys say there has been a significant increase in evidence collected through social media. Information obtained through social media searches can provide valuable evidence for and against litigants who are negotiating settlements and custody. It is even possible to request for the preservation of texts emails and social media posts until after the case has concluded.
Here are a few examples of technology and social media that should be explored during a divorce:
- Text messages: Texts are among the most common forms of evidence used in modern divorce cases. When one spouse sends a text out of anger and frustration, the other may try to use that text to show how the other has a temper. For example, if one spouse is pursuing full time custody, angry texts could show that he or she is a safety risk for the children. You can preserve and even subpoena text messages from a cell phone provider.
- Emails: Transmissions sent from a spouse can be used in court under certain circumstances. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to subpoena emails between specific parties. You should use caution whenever you send out an email. Choose your words carefully so that what you say is not later used against you.
- Social media websites: Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can be used to evaluate where a spouse has been, what happened there, and who was there at the same time. Dating websites can also be used to show that the spouse was not a full time devoted parent or spouse.
It is important to use caution whenever you put your thoughts and concerns in writing. Your words can be used against you during a divorce. For help regarding what can help your divorce and what you can do to protect your rights, please contact an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney.