Lack of civility on social media can impact a divorce outcome

Lack of civility on social media can impact a divorce outcome

In today’s globally connected world, readers in Michigan likely find ways to connect with family, friends and others through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Those posts may share one’s activities, photos, philosophy, emotions and more. However, sharing too much information on the Internet may get some people, particularly those in contentious and bitter divorces, in trouble.

In a 2010 survey, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that in the last five years nearly 81 percent of its members saw an increase in the use of social media evidence in cases. Thus, it is important for those in the process of a divorce to consider the potential consequences of venting too much on social media.

As a general rule, it is advised that a spouse avoid using social media to harass, stalk or commit libel by writing something untrue about the soon-to-be former spouse. Yet even a hurtful but true statement in a post may have the unintended consequence of the ex losing their job, thereby impacting the amount of a support payment. Various rants and too many partying photos may call into question one’s ability to care for children and impact child custody decisions. Finally, claiming one does not have enough money to provide support but posting vacation pictures may damage your credibility during a divorce proceeding.

Divorce is a difficult process and parties must settle various important issues such as property division, assets, debt, child custody, support and visitations. It is imperative not to lose sight of what is truly important. Those in a divorce should control the urge to make unnecessary posts on social media, which might have a negative impact on the outcome of the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, “Facebook Ex Trashing: It Can Cost You,” Geoff Williams, Aug. 22, 2012

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