Nancy L. Sponseller

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Social media can present problems in divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Monday, March 24, 2014.

Ohio residents may be interested in how they might be able to avoid common mistakes during divorce. Experts say that social media is at the root of many divorce mistakes, primarily because anything that goes online can usually be viewed publicly. Divorce attorneys can use information on social media as evidence suggesting that an individual has more money than they claim, is in a new relationship, or is not providing proper care for their children.

Out-of-context posts and pictures may force a person to explain his or her behavior. Incriminating information on social media could include pictures of expensive vacations or major purchases, and in some cases, emotional public posts that defame a former spouse may also be used to a former spouse’s advantage. In cases involving child custody, the actions and posts made by children while one parent is in charge might also be cast in a negative light in court.

Experts say one of the most common mistakes individuals make in divorce is assuming that their social media accounts are private. While an individual may not be friends with their former partner on social media sites, it does not mean that the person cannot access their profile. Mutual friends may access the profile or a former partner could create a fake profile so that he or she may look for damaging information. Experts say deleting any posts also does not help because removing the information may be viewed as tampering with evidence, which could have additional consequences.

Some divorce commenters suggest that the best method for managing social media activity is to maintain a civil relationship with one’s former spouse. However, divorce proceedings are often contentious, and individuals who are involved in disputes regarding issues such as child custody and property division may benefit from consultation with a lawyer who might be able to provide advice throughout the process.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Divorce Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making“, Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014