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Understanding the Potential Impact of Social Media

Posted on September 29, 2015 in Divorce

social media, divorce, Illinois Family Law AttorneysNever before in human history have people been as connected as they are in the Digital Age. While sociologists will argue for decades over the perceived depth or superficiality of relationships facilitated by social media, there is little question that society has changed as a result. In most situations, liking or sharing photos and posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may be relatively harmless, but it is absolutely critical to understand the power of social media in the midst of legal disputes and divorce, in particular.

Before You Click Send…

…remember that you cannot take back what you are about to post. Anything you share to a social media site, or really, even most internet-based applications, have the potential to remain permanent. Yes, you may be able to delete a post or a picture, and certain apps like Snapchat purport to only keep your information for a few seconds at time. However, all it takes is for a single person to capture a screenshot of your post and your control over its permanence is totally lost.

Impressions Matter Greatly

Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, litigation may be necessary to reach a divorce settlement, which often means contentiousness and allegations between you and your spouse. Many aspects of the divorce process, including child custody, division of property, and spousal support, involve very subjective considerations by the court. To influence these considerations, each side will generally offer some sort of testimony or proof as to why the court should rule a particular way. Documented evidence, such as a printed screenshot of destructive or deceptive behavior could be extremely damaging to your case.

For example, if you are fighting for primary physical custody of your children, and your social media streams are full of photos of in bars every weekend, the other party may point to that as evidence of questionable judgment, whether it is true or not. Likewise, your spouse may claim he cannot afford to pay spousal support, but live tweeted his recent trip to Europe. While there may be no way to tell how the trip was paid for, it may create the impression of him possessing more resources than he is willing to admit.

Keep it Safe

When preparing for divorce, you should discuss strategy for managing your social media use with an experienced Lombard family law attorney. Contact the knowledgeable team at A. Traub & Associates today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer who can help you understand the power and potential dangers of the internet.


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