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Getting divorced in the digital era

On behalf of Bryson Law Firm, PLC | March 22, 2019 | Family Law | 0 comment

Social media is a popular way to check in or share bits and pieces of your life with friends, family and others. This can seem harmless as you share a child’s sporting triumphs, a family trip, or a night out with the boys. However, one’s digital footprint is something they need to reevaluate and monitor when going through a divorce.

Freeze that profile

Just as the courts put a freeze on large financial transactions (unless it is a regular part of an occupation), spouses getting divorced should keep a low profile on the web until the divorce is done. Common examples of posts to avoid or eliminate include:

  • Profiles on dating apps, particularly if they are from before filing for divorce
  • Photos of nights out with new friends where the celebrating clearly got out of hand
  • Announcements or photos of expensive new purchases or lavish trips
  • Announcements of new relationships or even images of the two of you alone

One may be excited to reenter the single scene or just have more freedom, but Facebook posts and material from other platforms will be scrutinized for clues of a person’s mental health or issues of addiction, spending habits, a circle of friends and lifestyle. These will be part of the picture the other side may use portray the suitability for custody or an equitable parenting plan. Purchasing big-ticket items can lead to questions about the validity of the list of assets provided during discovery as well as general fiscal responsibility.

The digital footprint will not have the same kind of impact that bank statements, tax returns and retirement accounts. However, it certainly can be a part of the discovery process’s requests for admission, interrogatories (your version of the truth), depositions (sworn statements before a court report) an individual provides when their divorce is litigated.

Attorneys understand the impact a digital footprint

While many of these points are general in nature, a knowledgeable family law attorney understands how to protect their client’s best interests and tailor a strategy to address needs of the client and family specific to the circumstances of a divorce, including matters involving the digital footprint.