Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How is social media evidence used in divorce proceedings?”
Going through a divorce is a major transition in life. Suddenly, your assets are being divided, custody arrangements are being set, and you are left negotiating with a soon-to-be-ex spouse over assets and issues you never thought would be the subject of a legal battle. We see divorce on television or witnesses our close friends and families go through divorce, but we do not often consider the impact that our actions might have on the outcome of a divorce.
Social media is ubiquitous in today’s world. Individuals are obsessed with sharing their latest photo to their followers or updating friends and family on what they are going to do on a certain day. With all the joys and fun of social media, it does have its downside. Social media can have a huge impact on your divorce.
Watch What You Post
When going through a divorce, it is likely that your ex-spouse and his or her attorneys will comb through social media accounts to look for any evidence that can be used as leverage in the case. Therefore, it is imperative to be conscious of what you are posting on social media. Indications or evidence that a spouse was involved in an affair could impact the outcome of the divorce.
In North Carolina, there are only two legal grounds for divorce – incurable insanity and separation for at least one year. Most divorces are filed after the requisite one year separation. While an affair in and of itself is not grounds for a divorce, it can affect spousal support and even child custody considerations. In fact, there have been instances in which a judge has required the spouses to share their passwords to various social media accounts so that a claim that a spouse was involved in an affair could be investigated further.
Managing Social Media
Since you do not want a Facebook post to affect spousal support payments or child custody, it is important to manage your social media accounts.
- Avoid contact with your ex-spouse. When going through a divorce, it may be best to block your ex on social media for the duration of the divorce. Additionally, blocking certain family members, spouses, and acquaintances may also be necessary.
- Maintain privacy. Make sure that your privacy settings are at a level where not everyone can see your posts.
- Do not post about the divorce. While you may want to keep family and friends updated on the status of your divorce, it might be best to do so in ways that do not involve social media.
If you are going through a divorce, the last thing you want to worry about is a social media account derailing any negotiations made during the divorce proceedings. Instead, have a dedicated family law attorney who can help you determine the best decisions to make during your divorce. The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to answer your questions and inform you of the best ways to conduct yourself during the divorce proceedings. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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