Be Careful About How You Use Facebook And Social Media During Divorce
Today, many people take their own pictures and post them on their Facebook pages. Facebook and other social media sites, like Instagram and Twitter, leave a chronological trail of photographic or video evidence of infidelity. Texting and other messaging platforms can also provide evidence of an extramarital affair.
What you do or say online can be used against you in a divorce, especially in a fault grounds state such as Georgia. Facebook pages are an issue in almost a third of the divorce cases we handle at The Siemon Law Firm. When you face a divorce in Atlanta, it is critical to understand how social media activity can affect the outcome of your divorce.
Isn’t My Facebook Account Private?
Many people assume that what they do or say online is private, protected by logins and personal passwords. When it comes to a divorce case, however, private information can quickly become part of a court record. Today it’s routine for divorce attorneys to request Facebook login information as a part of discovery and to print pages from the person’s account.
If your account contains evidence of an extramarital affair, your spouse can file for divorce using the fault ground of adultery. While a spouse’s behavior will not affect a divorce settlement in many states, it can in Georgia:
- You are not entitled to alimony in Georgia if you committed adultery and that adultery is found to be the cause of the breakup of the marriage.
- If you were at fault for the breakup of the marriage, the judge can award your spouse a greater share of marital property.
- If you have children, your behavior can affect your child custody and visitation rights.
Online Information Is Not As Private As You Think
Although people tend to think of their online accounts as protected and private, the truth is that such “private” information can easily become part of an official court record. Deleting a post doesn’t necessarily erase that post, as someone could have taken a screen shot while it was still up. This is true even for Snapchat, the app wherein the sent photo self-destructs after a number of seconds.
Even if you’ve blocked your spouse on social media, mutual friends could serve as a conduit of information, informing either party what the other has been posting. This information could significantly affect a divorce, if for example, one person is claiming to be broke, but then posts pictures of a lavish purchase or a trip with a new significant other.
Learn How We Can Assist You In Atlanta
If you are getting a divorce, it is important to exercise great care to make your posts as private as possible, and to refrain from posting anything on any site that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see. Learn how our divorce attorneys at The Siemon Law Firm can assist you during this time. Schedule a confidential consultation with us by calling 770-888-5120 or by sending us an email. We have four convenient office locations in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming and Marietta.