Four Ways Social Media Can Harm Your Divorce Case

August 29, 2016 | Divorce, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Dan Glasser Dan Glasser

You likely use social media every day to keep in touch with family and friends, post photos of your weekend activities and share items from your news feed.  Facebook alone has 1.9 billion daily active users.  At a time when nearly everyone has at least one social media account, it is important to understand the way in which Facebook and other social media outlets can affect various legal proceedings (such as a divorce).

  • Undisclosed income: Income can take on many forms including employment, rental income, interest from financial accounts and business ownership.  A LinkedIn or Facebook account can include information regarding a second job or even a business that was not previously revealed.
  • Marital Affairs: More than one spouse has learned of their spouse’s infidelity as a result of online social posts.  A photograph from a company holiday party, a weekend gathering with friends after a softball game or even a tag from a friend’s post can reveal that you are involved in an extramarital affair. Even if you are not involved in a relationship with another person, posting photos of yourself and another person gives the impression that you are having an affair and complicates your divorce case.
  • Spending Habits: Does your social media account track your location and let people know when you are at the new trendy restaurant in town?  Or did you go on vacation with a group of friends and post the pictures showing that cruise or European trip?  When a person claims that they have a low income in a divorce case to reduce the payment of child or spousal support, photographs showing large expenditures can have a significant effect on your case.
  • Lapses in judgment affecting child custody: While it may seem innocent at the time, taking pictures of you and your friends drinking or otherwise acting rowdy over the weekend can have a negative effect on your case if the judge finds that you acted irresponsibly or if the attorney representing your spouse becomes convinced that you have an alcohol or drug problem.

Deleting your social media accounts will not help, and may actually make things worse. If you are contemplating filing for divorce, it is important to discuss your social media accounts with a Pittsburgh family law attorney who can advise you about the types of posts that should be avoided during your case and, if you have children, the types of posts that may be inappropriate even after your divorce case has concluded.

In some instances, your attorney may advise you to stay off social media altogether until your case has concluded or, at the very least, to take the posts off of a public setting. It is also important that you refrain from posting any specifics about your case online including comments about the judge, the court system or even the attorney on the other side.

At Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, our attorneys understand all of the negative effects a social media posting can have in a divorce case. Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.

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