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Can Information Shared On Social Media Affect My Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Farmington Hills Divorce LawyerThe breakdown of a marriage can be difficult for both spouses, and in some cases, marital issues may become public knowledge due to details that a couple, their children, or other family members or friends share on social media. Since so many people are used to sharing information about themselves when they use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or other social networks, they may expect that they can continue to discuss their lives online during the divorce process. However, it is important to understand what types of information should or should not be shared and how posts on social media may play a role in a couple’s divorce.

Social Media Posts as Evidence in a Divorce Case

Information posted online, such as photos or status updates, is generally available to the public. This means that anything posted to social media could potentially be raised during the divorce process. Even posts that a person believes are private could be uncovered by the other spouse or their attorney. Because of this, it is important to treat everything posted on social media as something that could potentially be raised in divorce court.

However, social media posts will only play a role in divorce if they are relevant to the legal proceedings. For example, a person may have found posts that indicate that their spouse is having an affair, and they may believe that this information could be used to show that the other party is responsible for their divorce. However, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, and a divorce petition will not include any fault-based grounds for divorce or state that either spouse is to blame for the end of their marriage. This evidence would not be relevant when filing for divorce, but it could potentially be raised later in the divorce process if it affects decisions about issues such as the division of marital property.

What Not to Share on Social Networks During Divorce

Since anything posted on social media could be used as evidence in a divorce case, it is a good idea to avoid sharing information such as:

  • Financial details - During the divorce process, spouses’ finances will be closely scrutinized. Any social media posts that could indicate that a spouse is not being truthful about their income or assets may lead to disputes over issues such as asset division or financial support. For example, if a spouse posts a picture of an expensive item that they recently purchased, the other spouse may claim that they have failed to disclose certain financial assets or that they have income that should be going toward spousal support or child support.

  • Complaints about the other party - While spouses may encounter conflict during their divorce, they will usually want to find ways to resolve their disputes and complete the process of dissolving their marriage. However, these negotiations may be jeopardized if one spouse feels that the other is badmouthing them on social media, such as by blaming them for the divorce, stating that they are being unreasonable, or discussing the details of their private lives with others. 

  • Irresponsible or reckless behavior - During child custody disputes, one party may take any opportunity they can to paint the other party in a negative light and claim that they are incapable of meeting their children’s needs. A parent who discusses drug or alcohol use on social media or posts pictures in which they are engaging in morally questionable behavior may give the other parent ammunition to use against them in family court.

Contact Our Farmington Hills Divorce Lawyers

At Elkouri Heath, PLC, we can help you understand how social media may affect your divorce, and we will provide you with representation to help you dissolve your marriage successfully. Contact our Novi, MI divorce attorneys at 248-344-9700 to set up a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.austinmonthly.com/going-through-a-divorce-get-off-social-media/

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(c2x4akdp4usuyv2heu2gmjzu))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-552-6

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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