Divorce and Your Social Media Network

by Donato Pesce on Jun. 25, 2015

Divorce & Family Law Divorce & Family Law  Divorce 

Summary: A recent Censuswide survey found that one in seven divorces in the United States are caused by social media. This is attributed to a variety of reasons

Divorce and Your Social Media Network

DuPage County Divorce Attorney

A recent Censuswide survey found that one in seven divorces in the United States are caused by social media. This is attributed to a variety of reasons. Social media has changed the ways we interact with each other and use the information we receive, challenging previously-held ideas about what is appropriate to share with others.

Other statistics back up these findings about the effect social media can have on a marriage. Approximately one in five divorces in the U.S. is at least partially attributed to Facebook use. Eighty-one percent of attorneys in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers report that they have used evidence found on social media platforms during divorce proceedings; 66 percent of online information used in divorces comes from Facebook.

If you are a social media user, it is important that you know how to protect your information online and use your social media accounts without threatening your relationship. This does not necessarily mean that you have to share your passwords with your spouse, but it does require a commitment to transparency from both of you.

How Can Social Media be Responsible for a Divorce?

Since its debut at the turn of the twenty-first century, social media has introduced a new form of interaction into our lives. No previous generation could broadcast their thoughts, photos, and plans to hundreds or even thousands of followers without physically leaving their home. Social media has changed the way we live in both negative and positive ways. Some of these changes that can be damaging to couples' relationships include the following:

  • Social media can create jealousy of one's partner and others, creating a sense that one is missing out on how a relationship “should be” or that he or she is sharing his or her partner with others;
  • Social media is time consuming. When an individual spends hours each day virtually interacting with others, his or her partner may feel cheated; and
  • Social media puts individuals into contact with millions of other users throughout the world. These other users may include one's former partner or others looking to enter relationships, compromising the sense of commitment an individual feels from his or her partner.

When a couple reaches the point of divorcing, social media accounts can play a significant role in the proceeding. Text messages and emails are admissible in court and can be used to determine an individual's infidelity or other discussions related to the divorce, such as attempts to hide assets or to spread rumors about his or her partner's ability to parent. In addition, social media events and photos can create a timeline, showing where an individual goes and who he or she is with.

How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts During a Divorce

Do not discuss your divorce on social media, via email, or via text message. Save these conversations for phone calls or in-person meetings. Better yet, keep them to yourself until your divorce is final.

Disable the “tagging” and “location” functions that allow social media sites to track where you are and others to “tag” you in photos. This is especially important if you are facing a threat of domestic violence from your former partner.

If you begin to date before your divorce is final, do not discuss your new relationship online. This can complicate your divorce proceedings because now, you may be considered to be committing adultery as well as dissipation. Living with another individual can also affect your spousal maintenance and child custody arrangements.

The best way to protect yourself during a divorce is to delete your social media accounts until the divorce is final. Remove yourself from any volatility that may be present online and give yourself the opportunity to focus solely on your divorce while it is happening. Remember, even comments that seem innocent may be used against you in your divorce. Eliminate any opportunity to be impacted by social media by removing yourself completely from the digital social ecosystem.

Contact an Experienced DuPage Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering filing for divorce, first contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney at Pesce Law Group, P.C. to learn more about the process and your responsibilities before and during your divorce. Call our firm today at (630) 352-2240 to schedule your legal consultation with a member of our firm. We can answer all of your questions about the divorce process and guide you through the next steps of ending your marriage. Do not wait to begin working with our firm – give us a call today.

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