Evidence from Social Media and Cell Phones Introduced in Family Court

Social media is so prevalent in our society today; many people don’t think twice before posting information about their personal lives. In addition, texting has become an extremely common communication method for many people, yet many don’t consider the consequences of having certain conversations saved in writing. For couples getting a divorce, social media use and electronic communications such as texting can cause trouble during a divorce.

During a divorce, emotions are high and couples go through a wide range of feelings: anger, hurt, sadness, revenge, elation, regret, and many more. Pictures and status updates can cause drama and contention between divorcing spouses. Angry conversations over text message can be saved by the recipient, long after the heated exchange is over. In addition, anything that is posted online or in writing can be used as evidence in court. Social media activity can be evidence that the court finds relevant, and divorcing couples are not supposed to delete evidence. For this reason, it is better to limit or avoid social media use as much as possible during divorce proceedings. It is wise to ask friends and family to avoid tagging you and posting anything about you as well.

Sometimes, the information gleaned from social media can cause financial consequences for one or both spouses.  If, during the divorce process, one spouse is posting about a vacation or about something expensive they purchased, the other spouse can request that the court subpoena credit card statements and bank account activity. The spouse spending money may be required to pay that money back to the marital estate.

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