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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Perils of Social Media Networking in a Divorce Case

How can social media activity impact a divorce?

Many people pride themselves on the number of Facebook friends they have, and also spend a great deal of time on other social media sites like Instagram, tumblr, Twitter and others too numerous to mention. The purpose of this post is not to weigh in on the pros and cons of social media, but rather to advise people that anything they post on one of these sites can be used against them in a divorce case.

While it has become quite common for adults in Michigan to network on social media, whether as a means to communicate with friends, participate in online discussions, or post comments and pictures, they often fail to realize that nothing posted online is really completely private.

In fact, even when privacy settings are set up, a savvy divorce attorney can easily subpoena this information. And posts and comments can become critical evidence in a divorce proceeding that can lead to unfavorable rulings on a wide range of matters, especially questions of child custody and support.

A prime example of this is a parent who is seeking to minimize the amount of child support, but then posts pictures of an expensive luxury item that was purchased either during the divorce proceeding or after a settlement is reached. Even more glaring is a spouse posting pictures of an exotic vacation with a romantic partner before the divorce is finalized. Lastly, in cases in which a divorce becomes contentious, some divorcing spouses may be inclined to post derogatory comments about the other spouse. In short, these types of posts can lead to an adverse ruling by the court and jeopardize one's child custody and visitation rights.

The Takeaway

Let's face it: going through a divorce is never easy, but it is important to remember to exercise care when engaging in social media, not only during a divorce, but always. And deleting comments or posts may not help, and might even be construed as destroying evidence. The bottom line: if you are considering a divorce, be careful about your social media activity, and always seek the advice and counsel of an experienced divorce attorney.


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