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Contents of social media websites often a factor in divorce

Most Michigan residents likely have at least one social media account. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram; for people of all ages, the use of social media has become a part of everyday life. While many people assume that what they say and post on these sites is private or only shared only with friends, in reality anything posted online is accessible.

During the last ten years, social media sites have grown tremendously in popularity and membership. Not only have these sites changed the way people around the world communicate and share information and images, social media sites have also greatly impacted people's professional and personal lives.

According to a study, between the years 2005 to 2010, more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys reported experiencing an increase in the number of divorce cases in which information obtained via a social media website was included as evidence. From a vacation photo that proves a soon-to-be spouse isn't destitute to a post communicating a father was out when he was supposed to be with his child; the contents of a social media account tell a lot more about a person's life than many realize.

Often divorce attorneys check social media accounts of both a client and his or her soon-to-be ex to discover information that may be submitted as evidence during divorce proceedings. What's more, many attorneys admit to being constantly surprised by what clients and ex-spouses post online. The fact is that once something has posted to a social media website there is no going back. In cases where an individual attempts to delete or remove a photo or post that may be used as evidence, both the individual and his or her attorney may face legal sanctions.

While divorce attorneys can work to defend against questionable photos and posts communicated via social media websites, the information may negatively impact matters related to child custody, the division of assets and spousal support. For these reasons, most divorce attorneys advise clients to stop using social media accounts altogether or to be very careful when doing to.

Source: Buffalo Law Journal, "Social media’s growing impact on family law," Michael Petro, April 14, 2014

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Contents of social media websites often a factor in divorce | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC