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In June 2014, Addicus Publishing released the book “Divorce in Washington”, which was authored exclusively by David Crouse.view all
There is no doubt that modern technology is raising extra concerns for people facing a contested divorce. Thanks to the proliferation of social media, there is now more evidence than ever to show exactly what each partner did before and has done since the separation. This evidence can change the course of settlement negotiations and even hurt your chances of getting alimony or custody in a trial.
Social media can work in your favor during a divorce. We can:
This last one is particularly important. Sometimes, a divorcing partner or his/her friend posts pictures from a vacation or other event with that shows extravagant spending or travels with a paramour. This can drastically impact child support, asset division, alimony, or other aspects of a divorce.
Social media can help you gather evidence to support your claim. Of course, it can also work against you in the same way. For this reason, you must pay careful attention to how you use these websites during a divorce.
In some cases, social media posts can even turn an amicable divorce into a contested one. We see this happen when:
Many people wonder how to handle their social media connections with their partner and mutual friends during a split. If you have children and will co-parent with him/her, you may want to try to remain on friendly terms.
You might think this hurts your case since your partner has access to everything on your page. The truth is that nothing you post on social media is private. Mutual friends, vindictive connections, or even fake profiles can screenshot or otherwise record posts and pass them along, even if your spouse is not a “friend” on the network.
You do not need to deactivate your social media accounts, but it is paramount that you follow some best practices to prevent endangering your case. We advise clients to stop using all these networks while the divorce is pending. You can always pick up where you left off once we finalize the divorce. If you need to deactivate your account to prevent yourself from using it or posting updates that might hurt your case, that is OK.
While deactivating is OK, it is important to never delete your account or even questionable posts. Lawyers can subpoena these accounts and posts. The court could consider this destruction of evidence, depending on the situation.
It is also good to remember that once something is on the internet, it is out there forever. Someone can take a screenshot of your post, a search engine can cache copies, and even some social networks keep backups of your data.
If you need to use social media for work, or simply cannot refrain from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter during your divorce, it is important to follow these best practices:
At David J. Crouse & Associates, PLLC, our Spokane divorce lawyers understand the dangers social media poses in a divorce or child custody case. We help ensure our clients understand the potential downfalls of Facebook and other social networks during the divorce process.
At the same time, we can also use these networks to collect evidence against their former partners. To learn more about how we can help build a strong case to support your Spokane divorce, call us today at 509-624-1380.