Today’s world is driven by technology with social networks and digital communication being the way people transact and socialize. Social media networks can contribute to a marriage breaking down. They can also impact the outcome of a divorce case such as on matters of child custody and settlements.
Today, people will share the events and goings-on of their lives on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, MySpace and other social media networks. Pictures are also common postings on these networks. While we continue to share our lives on these social networks, we don’t think that our sharing can actually have a negative impact. The truth is that these posts have been the cause of the downfall of many couples and may create turning points in litigation.
Online activity can be trailed to unearth secrets like hidden assets, or perhaps a love affair. Married couples often share have common friends and connections whom they interact with through social media. In the event of a break-up, most people remain loyal to “their” friend. Even if you block a spouse from your social media accounts during a divorce, others may (and often do) share information about the activities of the estranged partner from the updates and posts of this partner whom they are still following. In most cases, screenshots are preserved for future use in a custody case or a contested financial orders hearing.
For example, if economic waste is an issue, one spouse may present as evidence photographs posted by their spouse of trips taken with the significant other. Think of the situation where a spouse claims they don’t have enough money to pay spousal maintenance or alimony and then being confronted with evidence that shows that the spouse has been circumnavigating the globe to wine and dine a significant other. Even if a trip is paid for by someone else, the social media posts can still cast credibility issues which may have the same (or worse) impact on the divorce or custody litigation.
Apart from social media activity, emails and texts can also impact the outcome of a divorce case. It is rare for a contested hearing not to include the admission of text and email communications between the parties. This written evidence can be incredibly valuable or incredibly prejudicial. Such written communications are admissible evidence in court because they are statements made by the other party. In other words, it’s not excluded as hearsay evidence.
An email or social media post in which a partner or spouse refers to a new job offer, an expected bonus or investment dividend can be used to cast doubt or establish that the party has been dishonest on a previously submitted Sworn Financial Statement or Financial Affidavit.
Contact The Drexler Law Group to discuss the value or risk associated with the various forms of written communications and social media in your family law matter. If you have suspicions about what your partner has declared whether related to cheating, child custody, or finances, the professional at The Drexler Law Group can delve through the social media, email, and text history.
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