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The Ramifications of Logging on Facebook During Your Divorce

Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

Whether you utilize social media to keep up with old high school friends, to engage in political debates, or to post pictures of your cat, you may find yourself guilty of over-sharing on Facebook. While usually this is a benign social taboo, over-sharing can cause big problems for you during pending divorce proceedings. You may think that since you and your pending-ex are not "friends" or your profile is "private" that this may shield you from any possible concerns. However, this is not the case and pending divorcees should be especially cautious when posting on all social media outlets. An experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the reasons to keep your private life private, especially during divorce proceedings.

What's the Big Deal?

Most posts on social media, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other site of choice, are harmless. Generally, no harm can come from telling people where you were on Saturday, what you spend your money on, or where you happen to spend time after work. A soon-to-be ex-spouse may care a lot, however, if your posts are indicating cheating, involve lavish expenses with money you claim you do not have, or suggest you are trying to hide your assets one way or another. These posts can be used against you, and many courts are becoming much more open-minded about allowing social media posts and text messages to become part of the official court record and considered as evidence against you.

Spousal Maintenance Considerations

Changes in relationship status, use of photographs, or other personal status updates may tip off your spouse that you are engaging in behavior that may change the terms of your divorce settlement. Though most divorces are not "fault-based" anymore, infidelity may still be a basis for changes in property division and add to the already contentious issues surrounding the divorce proceedings.

Also, in less amicable divorces, possible stalking or harassment charges may follow if social media is over-utilized between the parties. Whether it includes going off on a rant that defames or libels your ex or his/her new partner, or incessant undesired communication, social media communications can be tracked, traced, and kept in records for later use. You must assume that everything you post on any internet-based platform or application will be disseminated for all to see, including the courts.

Child Support or Custody Considerations

Likewise, if you are begging for time with your kids, but then pawn them off on a babysitter to hit the beach, this can become public information very quickly. If you are competing for custody rights to your children, your divorce is not the time to publicize your relaxing kid-free vacation, complain about parenting responsibilities, or give your ex any reason to think that you might not be cut out for a parenting role in the future. Some of the many types of posts that may affect your future ability to spend time with your children include:

  • Photographs depicting drug/alcohol use;
  • Inappropriate remarks regarding the care of the children;
  • Angry, sarcastic, or ranting discussions regarding the children, custody, or the ex spouse;
  • Your children's posts: note that children under 13 are not allowed to have Facebook and other social media profiles; failure to supervise children and allow them access to these sites may also have negative consequences for your future parenting time allocation; and
  • Posts showing children involved in objectively dangerous activities or social situations. While these are all things that should generally not be shared on social media in the first place, this is especially true during divorce proceedings where your spouse is likely looking for ways to make you look bad.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows, Illinois Family Law Firm

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley, attorney Donald J. Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney that can help explain all of the ways social media may be utilized in a divorce. Whether it be helping protect your assets or ensuring that you receive what you are entitled to from your ex-spouse, Attorney Cosley has deep knowledge of the Illinois divorce court system to ensure that your case is approached appropriately given your unique circumstances. Whether you are considering divorce, in the middle of a divorce, or believe your divorce decree must be modified, Attorney Cosley can help. Reach out to his Rolling Meadows, Illinois law firm to learn more about social media and divorce law today.

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