Divorcing Couples Face Rising Use of Smartphones & Social Media as Evidence

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThe use of evidence from smartphones and other wireless gadgets during divorce proceedings has increased over the past three years, according to 97 percent of the lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Among the types of evidence gathered, 46 percent consisted of text messages, while 30 percent were emails and 12 percent were call logs and phone numbers. App data, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and more were also used.

The survey cited popular social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as being the top three used for divorce evidence by 41 percent, 17 percent and 16 percent of the surveyed attorneys respectively.

Social media can have a significant impact on divorce cases by opening up divorcing partners to scrutiny in court. In litigated divorces, opposing attorneys may dig up incriminating information from social media pages for one spouse to use against the other as evidence to prove anything from concealed assets to the breach of a prenuptial agreement.

For example, a parent “tweeting” about a night out could be perceived as being irresponsible towards their child, or a spouse sharing Instagram photos of a vacation could raise questions about their income.

So the bottom line is that you should monitor your behavior on social media. Ask yourself, if I post this, will it come back to haunt me later? If you are going through a divorce, err on the side of caution and refrain from using social networks until after the divorce. Otherwise, your online activities could come back to be a problem for you.

When it comes to divorce, an advantage of divorce mediation is privacy. Neither party is compelled to look through each others social media activity to find something incriminating to use. The divorcing partners can instead focus on looking forward and coming to an agreement regarding their futures, rather than reliving the past.

For more information, see:

  • http://aaml.org/about-the-academy/press/press-releases/divorce/huge-increase-texts-and-app-evidence-divorces-say-nat
  • http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/ct-divorce-apps-spying-0610-biz-20150609-story.html

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

Beware of What You Post On Social Media During Divorce & Child Custody Proceedings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsBy:  Gerald Maggio, Esq.

Relationships are established much quicker in our hyper social media age. It used to be that relationships evolved over months but with technology – whether texting, social media, or email communication – everything happens at a rapid pace. For marriages that are on the rocks, a spouse can rekindle or find a new love and intensify the bonds rapidly.  This means more affairs more easily enabled by such technology.

When a person is having a bad day at home with a spouse, they often turn to social media to relieve their stress and get back some enjoyment. But before you start to post negative comments about your spouse or send inappropriate pictures or posts over social media, think twice, especially when child custody is involved.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers notes that 75 percent of divorce lawyers are utilizing evidence from social media in marriage dissolutions. Use caution and restraint when posting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any online social media outlets or you could cause more trouble than your post was worth.  Remember it is not social media that is causing the problem, it is your behavior and comments that are inappropriate.  You do not want to have to deal with a moment of questionable judgment that is now something you not only regret out of embarrassment but more importantly, can be used against you in court.  Your ex’s lawyer will use, and the judge can consider, these posts, so exercise restraint so that problems are minimized.

So do yourself a favor and either stay off all social media altogether or otherwise exercise extreme caution until the divorce is finalized and you want to start a new relationship. Otherwise, you could jeopardize your child custody case and outcome of your divorce because of inappropriate behavior.

For more information or to set up a consultation, please contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or at www.cadivorcemediators.com.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”