social media use in divorce cases

Social Media Use in Divorce Court

There has been a recent uptick in blaming social media for failing marriages. Consequently, social media updates are being used as persuasive court evidence in divorce cases. 

Social Media Distances Relationships

An astounding 17% of married couples fight about social media activity on a daily basis. While social media is designed to help us connect and maintain relationships, the effects of its use often distance couples. The public broadcasting of private life events and constant stream of updates allow users to disengage from the life happening in front of them. Excessive time spent on social media sites during time at home negatively affects marriages. A spouse will feel less important as the hundreds of others their spouse appears to pay more attention to.

Public Sharing for Private Lives

In addition to the strain that time spent on social media causes for couples, sites like Facebook and Instagram can also serve as effective evidence of dishonesty. A spouse might claim to be going somewhere, and when a time stamped, geotagged photo that says differently is posted, it is easy to be caught. Social media posts are public knowledge that could be used as evidence in a fight, or more seriously, in a divorce case.

Social Media Can Be Used As Evidence

Divorce lawyers report seeing an increase in social media used as evidence for infidelity and dishonesty in a marriage. In a recent survey of family law practitioners, it was discovered that 81% of divorce lawyers reported seeing social media content as evidence in court. Whether incriminating information lies in public posts and private messages, it is becoming a far more accepted type of evidence across the board.

Ways to Cut Back

In order to maintain a healthy relationship, or to recover after social media has caused your divorce, developing a healthy amount of social media consumption is important. A great first step to cutting back is by simply being aware of how often and how frequently you are using social media. Time spent away from the computer screen and engaging in real-life interactions will restart growth.

Sources

Facebook is Primary Source for Compromising Information. (2010, February 10). American Academy of Marriage Lawyers. Retrieved May 7, 2015.

Edwards, A. (2015, May 6). Woman blames Facebook for divorce, she’s not the only one. Retrieved May 8, 2015.

Schneker, M. (2015, May 4). Survey Says Social Media Could Lead to More Divorces. Digital Trends. Retrieved May 8, 2015.