Tag Archives: social media

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.

Sources:

https://www.parenting.com/blogs/children-and-technology-blog/jeana-lee-tahnk/92-percent-parents-are-friends-their-kids-faceboo

https://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/

Avoid These Social Media Blunders During Your Divorce

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.

Social Media Mistake #3: Getting Caught in a Lie

Social media posts are often timestamped and location-tagged. Things like “checking in” at a location a spouse said they would avoid can bring his or her trustworthiness into question during the divorce process. Some divorcing spouses have gotten into hot water after posting pictures on social media of expensive purchases or assets that he or she did not disclose during discussions about property division. Creating a profile on a dating app like Tinder or OKCupid before a divorce is finalized is another critical social media mistake to avoid.

Getting Divorced? Let Us Help.

For sound legal guidance at every step of your divorce, contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Call us at 630-871-1002 today for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/family_law/childcustody.authcheckdam.pdf

https://www.recode.net/2018/3/1/17063208/facebook-us-growth-pew-research-users

What You Need to Know About Social Media During a Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyersWhen you are in the midst of a divorce, it is understandable that you might want to vent your feelings and frustrations every once in a while. Some people in such a situation may confide in a close, trusted friend, but others turn to the outlets offered by social media—especially if they believe that the posts will be kept out of public view. Unfortunately, it is often possible for your spouse and his or her lawyer to use your social media posts against you. In the most extreme situations, an ill-conceived or poorly-timed post could even cost you money or time with your children.

What Does Social Media Include?

The majority of people are familiar with the most popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are, of course, many other sites and apps like Reddit, Snapchat, and WhatsApp that allow people to interact over the internet. For the purposes of divorce, the term “social media” can also apply to e-mail, text messages, and other forms of digital communication. Messages and photos sent or posted using a cell phone can be considered during a divorce, just as posts made using a desktop computer can.

Text messages, in fact, are commonly presented as evidence during divorce proceedings. Lawyers across the country have reported an increase in the prevalence of text-message evidence in divorces over the last decade or so. Text messages and e-mails are also more accessible than they once were. Cell phone companies and internet services providers are often able to provide copies of all messages to and from a given account if they are subpoenaed by the court.

What Is Admissible?

It is a common misconception that only obvious references to undesirable behavior can be used against a person during his or her divorce. This is simply not true. Inferences can be used and logic trails can be implied by attorneys and become part of the case’s record. For example, if you often post pictures of yourself partying and carrying on while intoxicated, the impression given by those photos could outweigh your claims that you are a good parent who provides a healthy, safe home for your children.

You should also be aware that deleting potentially problematic posts could land you in trouble with the court as well.  The Illinois Supreme Court has established that a person could face consequences for deleting items from social media if the deletions are found to be spoliation of evidence. During a divorce—especially a divorce that involves children—each spouse’s character will be taken into account. Having embarrassing items on your social media feed is one thing, but deleting them could be seen as an indication that you are being deceitful. Allegations of deception and fraud could negatively affect your case and your ability to spend time with your children.

Call Us for Help

If you are considering a divorce, an experienced DuPage County family law attorney can help you avoid creating problems for yourself on social media. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_II/ArtII.htm#219

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-morrow/a-look-at-how-social-medi_b_10633940.html