social media, DuPage County divorce attorneysThe internet has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. Social media has allowed us to send and receive information about each other in the blink of an eye. Nearly 70 percent of Americans have at least a Facebook account. Although websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be wonderful tools to stay in touch with friends and family, they can also become a significant responsibility during tumultuous times such as a divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage, you should know that social media activity can come up during a divorce. It is critical for anyone getting divorced to be intentional about what they post online.

Social Media Mistake #1: Oversharing Personal Information

For many married individuals, separating from their spouse leaves them feeling alone and empty. In order to vent their frustrations or express their grief about the marriage, they take to social media. This is a major mistake. Unfortunately, careless comments made by people getting divorced can and have come back to haunt them.  In one such case, a wife’s Facebook activity was used as evidence during a formal custody case. The couple shared custody of a 4-year-old child together. The husband alleged that the wife took frequent vacations without their child while she had custody of him. The court ordered the wife to show her Facebook profile. It contained many pictures proving that she frequently spent time away from her child during her allotted parenting time.

Social Media Mistake #2: Letting Your Emotions Get the Better of You

Going through a divorce can be incredibly taxing emotionally and psychologically. However, serious problems can arise when spouses getting divorced express those emotions online. Another example of a divorce case that was affected by Facebook is one in which a woman complained online, “My children have a really, really bad father.” The court considered this and other statements evidence that she would not support her children’s relationship with their father. The court awarded the father more parental responsibility as a result.

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social media, Wheaton divorce attorneysIn today’s digital world, we are rarely more than a few feet from our cell phones. For many people, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer the chance to share their lives with friends and acquaintances. Critics of social media claim that many individuals use such sites to create an idealized version of themselves for public consumption—downplaying daily struggles and only highlighting positive achievements or “perfect” photos.

Social media can also create issues during a divorce. Some of these issues could affect the legal proceedings directly while others have the power to slow the healing process and prevent you from moving on. If you are considering a divorce or the process has already started, it is important to avoid:

Sharing Too Much, Too Soon

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email, Wheaton divorce attorneysSocial media posts have become an important source of evidence in many divorce cases. Many people falsely assume their posts are “private” and that any incriminating material–such as proof of an extramarital affair–can be concealed from an estranged spouse. In fact, many spouses have learned how to keep an eye on their partner's social media activity for just that reason.

But, what happens when a person goes even further and takes steps to monitor their spouse's email? An ongoing lawsuit suggests such activity may violate federal law. Not surprisingly, this litigation arose in the context of a highly-contested divorce.

Federal Court Reinstates Husband's Wiretap Lawsuit Against Wife

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