We increasingly carry out our lives on smartphones. Our dependence on technology impacts every aspect of our relationships. It’s how we meet, how we communicate with partners, and often, the reason for our romance’s demise. Technology also plays a significant role in the divorce process, as highlighted below:
A top source of divorce court evidence in these modern times, text messages can reveal a lot about separating spouses. Heated discussions carried out via text may include damaging information, which can ultimately be used in court. Although sometimes difficult to retrieve, text messages are often used as evidence of violent behavior or infidelity.
Social Media: Creating Messier Divorces
For those in the midst of messy divorces, the temptation to vent on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks can be significant. Unfortunately, even seemingly innocuous posts can be used against spouses. For example, an Instagram post featuring valuable jewelry or vehicles could be used to demonstrate that a spouse misrepresented his or her assets. Posts indicating adultery could impact divorces in grounds-based states.
LinkedIn and portfolio-based websites are increasingly used as evidence in divorce proceedings involving alimony or property division. For example, a divorcee could claim to require extensive alimony due to lack of work experience, but might list considerable work history online.
Social media drama doesn’t end after divorce. In select circumstances, unfavorable online behavior could lead to adverse modifications. For example, Facebook photos or LinkedIn resumes could indicate fraud, making typically difficult-to-achieve modification more likely.
In select states and countries, mere use of a dating site (especially an infidelity-based site such as Ashley Madison) can be grounds for divorce, regardless of whether any physical intimacy occurred. Circumstantial evidence, such as dating profiles, carry weight in many cases, in part due to the inherent difficulties of proving the actual act of cheating.
If there’s one lesson you should take away from the above examination of digital life and divorce, it’s the importance of caution. Think through every text, tweet, and Facebook check-in. When in doubt, set down the phone. Likes and retweets are never worth a compromised divorce.
Work with a lawyer who understands the critical role technology places in modern divorces. DiPietro Law Group’s trusted Virginia attorneys can help you sort through the technological complications of your legal situation.