For many people in Massachusetts, social media is an important part of their lives. They use it to communicate with friends and family, meet new people and even to network for their jobs. However, social media posts can provide revealing, and often unintended, information about a person's life. Anything posted online can potentially be used in court during divorce proceedings.
Evidence found on social media specifically cause problems with child custody cases and cases involving financial requests, such as child or spousal support. If the picture painted on Facebook, for example, differs from information provided to the court, the person could find him or herself facing additional complications or have their requests denied. For example, a man found his request for spousal support denied after he posted pictures of himself on an expensive vacation with his girlfriend.
On other examples of the impact of social media, a woman received additional child support because her former spouse's social media pages indicated that he had a side business not disclosed to the court. Posts indicating that a person is spending his or her day playing video games when he or she is supposed to be job hunting or showing drug or alcohol use when children are present can impact child custody cases. Some professionals warn that simply blocking an estranged spouse is not sufficient. If the information is out there, it can likely be found and used in court.
While some people may be tempted to delete their social media accounts during divorce proceedings, that may not be the best choice. Once litigation begins, social media posts are evidence, and deleting an account can be perceived as destruction of evidence. The best option for those seeking a divorce in Massachusetts may be to simply stop using the accounts until finalized.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "A Look at How Social Media is Impacting Divorce Cases", William Morrow, June 23, 2016