Tag Archives: social networking sites

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.




Divorce and Privacy in the Digital Age

divorce and privacy, digital age, DuPage County divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, privacy, privacy and divorce, social networking sites, divorce process, password protectionA large part of divorce involves the practical issues related to separating two lives that have been managed jointly. This presents unique problems in the digital age when an increased number of those lives take place online.

A recent study by the Pew Research Internet Project found that over one in four couples have a joint email account and 67 percent of people in a committed relationship have shared at least one of their passwords with a significant other. People going through divorce should make sure to stay conscious of these electronic ties that they share with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Otherwise, they could unwittingly allow their former partner to look into their private affairs.

Dealing with Shared Accounts

Shared family accounts on social networking sites or joint email addresses can present a potential issue in divorce if the spouses are not cognizant of them. Oftentimes these shared accounts will allow one spouse to view another’s private communications, which can be painful during a divorce process. Fortunately, the accounts are simple enough to close down, so the couple can transition to individual accounts. In fact, most account services have a feature that allows the user to reach out to their entire contact list and inform them of the new individual addresses.

The more difficult type of shared accounts are those that come with fees and long term contracts. One prevalent example of this problem is a family cell phone account. Spouses on a joint plan may have access to each other’s phone records and texting data, so continuing to share a plan can lead to similar invasions of privacy. However, this is not so simple to fix. Usually, cell phone plans have contracts that require the users to stay with the company for a certain period. Decoupling this type of cell phone plan may require the payment of an early termination fee.

Changing Your Passwords

Another issue that crops up following a divorce is the online security flaw of password reuse. People tend to cycle through a list of passwords for online accounts. If an ex-spouse knows some or all of these passwords, he or she can then log into new accounts. Additionally, many online services protect people’s accounts with security questions, ones that ask for personal information. An ex-spouse is more likely to know the answers to those personal questions. Hence, recently divorced people should take care to use new passwords and obscure security questions to avoid allowing an ex to peek into their online life.

If you have concerns about emerging issues faced in divorce, like divorce and privacy, or would just like more information about the process, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer today. Our experienced team can help guide you through divorce proceedings and will make sure you have an advocate on your side.