Tag Archives: social media and divorce

How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce Case

Wheaton divorce lawyer social media evidenceIn the United States, social media usage is continuing to rise across all age groups, according to the Pew Research Center. The typical American uses at least three of the following social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, and Snapchat. As virtually any lawyer will warn a client, it is best to stay away from social media during legal proceedings. This is particularly true for those going through a divorce or a child custody dispute.

Online Posts Can Be Used Against You

During the divorce process, social media can be used to uncover evidence that may be used against either party. For example, a father’s lack of judgment may be shown by an Instagram picture of him driving with an open can of beer in the car, or a wife’s extravagant vacation spending may be gleaned from a Facebook post. The former could be used to argue that the father should have limited parental responsibilities or parenting time, while the latter could be used to refute the wife’s argument that she does not have the means to pay spousal support.

Regardless of whether you are still living with your spouse or the two of you are no longer under one roof, you will likely want to reduce your social media presence during your divorce proceedings. In some cases, a social media post, comment, or picture may not be representative of your true character, or it may be taken out of context. This type of evidence can put you in a bad light, and it may be a factor considered by a judge when making a decision that is not in your favor.

Child Custody Disputes and Social Media

One of the most common ways social media can become involved in a dispute over child custody occurs when one parent makes disparaging remarks online about the other. If the couple’s son or daughter sees a negative comment on social media, he or she might tell one parent what the other parent said. After all, 92 percent of parents on Facebook are ‘friends’ with their children, and Facebook remains the primary social media platform for most Americans.

In this type of situation, one parent’s behavior on social media may be shown to directly affect their children, and the other spouse’s attorney may be able to claim that these actions are evidence of poor parenting characteristics. While accusations of “poor character” will not usually affect decisions about issues such as asset division or spousal support, they can have an impact on matters related to children, since the decisions made by a judge will be based on what is believed to be in the child’s best interests. To avoid any negative impact to your relationship with your children, it is best to follow the old adage of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” when using social media during your divorce.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, watching what you post online or avoiding social media altogether may help increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Our experienced Wheaton family law attorneys can help you reach a settlement that protects your rights, your relationship with your children, and your financial security. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.




Social Media Use and Your Illinois Divorce

social media, Wheaton divorce lawyerAs social media use becoming nearly ubiquitous in this day and age, it is wise for parties going through a divorce or who are subject to a final divorce decree to evaluate their social media use with an eye towards understanding how social media conduct may be viewed by the court. Your experienced family law attorney in DuPage County can discuss with you guidelines for handling social media appropriately.

Avoid Posts That Could Affect Your Divorce or Parenting Case

Refrain from posting anything on social media that could be used against you in your divorce case or parenting dispute. Some of the types of posts that can potentially get parties into trouble throughout the process include:

  • Threatening or violent posts;
  • Anything suggesting criminal involvement, such as drug use;
  • Inappropriate material;
  • Comments or photos about finances, assets, or recent purchases;
  • Anything that contradicts statements made to the court;
  • Harassing or cyber-stalking the other party online; and
  • Insulting or making desultory comments about the other party online.

Addressing Social Media Concerns with Your Illinois Divorce Attorney

When it comes to social media disputes between ex-partners who are co-parenting, prevention is key. Reaching a social media use agreement with an ex-spouse or partner during mediation or negotiation is becoming increasingly common. Some of the concerns parents may wish to discuss with their divorce attorney or to have addressed during negotiations or with the court include:

  • Who may post pictures of the children on social media sites? What about the social media accounts belonging to current or future girlfriends and boyfriends, grandparents, and other extended family members?
  • What social media sites are appropriate to incorporate posts about or pictures of the children? If posts with the children’s photos on popular social networking sites are permitted, what about dating profiles or less mainstream types of social media?
  • Will privacy settings be enabled on social media sites and apps? Is it acceptable to post photos of the children in forums that are entirely public?
  • Will the parties agree to refrain from disparaging each other on social media?
  • Will the children themselves be active on social media and if so, which sites are appropriate and how much parental supervision is required? At what age is social media use permissible?
  • How will social media and cyber-bullying be handled if it occurs?
  • If parties shared a social networking account prior to divorce or break up, who retains access to the account and its content? Will the account be removed entirely?


Consulting Experience Divorce and Family Law Attorney in DuPage County

Most social media matters are not addressed by Illinois law, and thus represent a grey area for parties navigating social media during or post-divorce. Having an agreement in place can give parties guidelines to rely upon when disputes inevitably occur.

Your passionate DuPage County family law attorney is experienced dealing with these emotionally charged disputes and can help your family in crafting a workable social media policy for co-parents. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for help.




Latest Survey Highlights the Social Media and Divorce Connection

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, divorce surveysA recent UK survey solidified what many couples, divorcees, and lawyers already knew: social media is bad for marriage and contributes to divorce.

A survey of 2,000 married couples in England found that one in seven partners contemplated divorce because of their spouse’s activities on Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Snapchat, or WhatsApp. The survey also found a partner’s usage of these social media sites contributed to at least one argument per week in 25 percent of the couples surveyed. Seventeen percent of couples, however, said social media usage led to arguments every day.

Furthermore, more than half (58 percent) of those surveyed claimed they knew their partner’s password even if the spouse was unaware they did. The reasons for knowing the password and subsequently checking their spouse’s account are typical amongst most couples: checking to see with whom the spouse is talking, keeping tabs on where and with whom their spouse is going out, and to see if their spouse is telling the truth about a variety of subjects. Fourteen percent of spouses specifically stated they snoop their spouse’s account for evidence of infidelity. Also, finding evidence of contact with exes and sending secret messages or inappropriate photos were found to be other targeted causes of arguments and reasons to snoop.

Social Media a Large Factor in Divorce Cases

The British survey supplements one conducted last year in the United States. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 81 percent of divorce attorneys found an increase in the number of divorce cases over the past five years that used social media evidence to support a petition for divorce. Another 66 percent said that Facebook was their go-to site for finding online evidence for their divorce-seeking clients.

All in all, the trends are clear that social media acts as negative force in relationships, especially marriage. It fosters arguments (petty and serious) and promotes jealousy. However, for those seeking divorce, social media can serve as a useful tool for the necessary evidence to support a petition for divorce and aid in negotiations during a divorce battle.

Social media is playing a more prominent role in marriage and divorce. The right attorney can help you find the evidence you need to maximize your divorce, especially if the other party is at fault. If you are considering divorce, and have questions, contact the experienced DuPage County family attorneys at our firm for an initial consultation.