A local CBS story highlights the dangers of posting online in social networking forums while going through divorce proceedings, especially where the proceedings are contested. Not only are more people discovering that their spouses or significant others are having affairs, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that more than 80% of divorce lawyers say that the content on social networks is increasingly being used as evidence in contested family law proceedings.
For instance, pictures posted on Facebook of a divorcing spouse using drugs, alcohol or partying it up in general can serve as damning evidence in a custody dispute. Likewise, vacation photos and other evidence of a lavish lifestyle can severely undermine a spouse’s claims of poverty and reveal sources of hidden assets. One parent allowing children access to Facebook also can be a point of contention, particularly with an older child who might be engaging in inappropriate behavior. While e-mails and text messages have served as evidence in divorce feuds for years now, posts and messages on social networking websites now are providing evidence in these cases as well. According to the article, about 70% of the social networking type of evidence comes from Facebook, whereas about 15% comes from MySpace.
When going through a divorce, you must take extra care to avoid creating evidence in favor of your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, such as evidence that can be found on Facebook and other social networking sites. While there is no prohibition against using these websites, you are well advised to consult a skilled Oakbrook, Illinois divorce attorney in order to evaluate the evidence in your case and how your usage of those sites might affect your case.