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Technology influencing divorce cases

When new technology makes its way into popular public usage, it can sometimes have unexpected consequences. For example, while new popular technology is being invented to help individuals keep in touch with their social contacts, the extension of social life into the digital world has had some interesting unintended consequences for relationships and divorces.

While social media can be a fun and exciting way Massachusettsans to keep in touch with those in our lives, social media and internet usage are changing the way many divorces are handled. When a divorce occurs, one of the most contentious issues is often how to split the marital assets. It can become even more contentious (and difficult) if one individual was not honest about their assets. In such cases, however, social media has begun to encroach on an individual's ability to hide assets from their spouse, as clues are often left on social media or internet sources which can help individuals track these assets down.

To make matters even more interesting, once information has been found on social media or other internet sources, it is regularly being used in courtrooms across the country as evidence. This may mean that conversations had over the internet, which were intended to be private or shared amongst one group of people, can actually be used to help sway a judge's decision. For instance, comments on social media websites can be used to show an individual is not keeping their end of a divorce agreement and could lead to legal action.

As a result of widespread use of social media, many experts have come up with suggestions for how to avoid any legal trouble from them during a divorce. Some issue absolute caution, suggesting individuals going through a divorce refrain from the sites entirely, and even then only make posts which could be shared amongst any group of people.

Source: Forbes, "How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce," Jeff Landers, Aug. 20, 2013

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