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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.

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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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Posted on in Divorce

social media, DuPage County divorce lawyerToday, social media is quite literally everywhere. Television commercials, movie trailers, product labels, and even roadside billboards list Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and Instagram accounts for people, brands, and companies. Of course, this is simply a reflection of the culture itself, as most of us know at least a few people who are quick to share virtually any experience to their social media feeds. When a person is going through a divorce, however, social media can present some unexpected dangers. If you are a regular user of social media networks, there are some things you should keep in mind during the divorce process.

Image Matters

Social media sites are appealing because they allow users to create sort of an alternate version of themselves. For example, a person’s Instagram account is likely to show photos of the user looking his or her best or celebrating an accomplishment. Rarely does someone post embarrassing stories or unflattering images. While most of us expect there to be some disconnect between a person’s social media persona and real life, the distinction can be especially problematic during a divorce. The biggest problem is the absence of context.

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Posted on in 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:

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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.

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