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Divorce may be complicated by social media

Massachusetts couples contemplating divorce may know that a spouse might gather evidence he or she may use during divorce litigation. Aside from claims that marriage vows were broken, evidence may be focused on claims a spouse may make for receiving alimony or being unable to pay it. Likewise, when asset division takes place, it is dependent on the financial statements each spouse may be obligated to turn into the court. Proving that a spouse is not being truthful may require presenting evidence to the contrary.

Evidence may be found on social media platforms such as Facebook. Posts may present a different view of one's financial situation than that which is presented to the court. Lavish cars or vacations, for example, may point to a healthier than noted financial status. Adultery is sometimes brought up during a divorce even if it is unnecessary to imply fault. If one spouse does not agree to divorce, the other spouse may use adultery as a reason to file. In addition, child custody may be affected by Facebook posts when used to make derogatory posts about the other parent.

Sometimes a former spouse may access their ex's Facebook page. Doing this is illegal without permission. It is important to remember that Facebook posts, although capable of being deleted, are never gone. The company owns the content once posted, and it may prove detrimental. Being cautious about the images and written comments on Facebook is advisable, and alerting friends to not post unwanted photos may be a good idea.

A spouse who feels social media posts are inflammatory and may negate information supplied to the court in divorce papers or indicate adultery may wish to speak to an attorney. The attorney may assist the spouse by reviewing such posts and provide insight into its relevance.

Source: FindLaw, "Facebook Divorce", accessed on Feb. 18, 2015

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