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How Social Media Can Impact Your Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneysThe prevalence of social media cannot be denied in today’s society. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are some of the most popular social media websites for people of all ages. While a lot of users like these sites as a way to communicate and share pictures with friends or family members, the use of social media can prove detrimental when going through a divorce. If one spouse is posting photos of extravagant spending, for example, this can be spun as evidence against the other spouse if the couple is disputing spousal support/maintenance, child support, or child custody issues. It is imperative to err on the side of caution when contemplating social media activity during a divorce. 

Online Evidence Can Be Used Against You

It is important to know that text messages and emails are admissible in court. If a spouse uses social media, text messages, or email to announce a new job or an upcoming bonus that has not been disclosed to the other spouse or in court, this can be used as evidence that the person is not being honest regarding his or her finances. This can affect settlements for division of property and assets. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state so marital property will be split fairly, not necessarily equally. However, a judge will take several factors into consideration when determining how to divide everything. 

On Facebook, friends might post pictures and “tag” someone else in them, which includes his or her name. Therefore, people must be careful about their actions and behavior depending on their privacy settings for social media accounts. For example, if an individual takes an expensive vacation with friends and someone in the group posts pictures of it, that might lessen his or her chances of receiving spousal support or maintenance payments after the divorce.

In some cases, one spouse may create an online dating profile before the divorce is finalized. This type of online activity can cause problems if one partner accuses the other of cheating during the marriage. Jealousy can also cause one spouse to become significantly combative and contest the divorce. Child custody can be impacted if a judge rules one parent may not be trustworthy to care for the children. A parent can also be deemed unfit if there is evidence showing him or her drinking excessively. 

Employers also monitor employees’ online activity, and if a person vents or makes derogatory comments about his or her spouse during the divorce process, this may affect his or her job. If the employee’s behavior or language is offensive, his or her boss may choose to fire the worker.  

When wondering if you should post something online, the best policy is to avoid using social media altogether during your divorce proceedings. However, trying to erase your Internet footprint by deleting your social media accounts after you have already had an online presence can be considered destruction of evidence. 

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

Social media sites are used by many people today. There are many benefits to sharing information this way, but there can also be negative consequences. At Anderson and Associates, P.C., our attorneys are skilled in how the latest technology can affect a divorce outcome. If you are considering filing for divorce, our diligent Oak Brook divorce lawyers can help make sure you obtain a favorable outcome. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

https://www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-social-media-can-affect-divorce-proceedings

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