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Social media should be handled carefully during divorce proceedings

In today's technological era, there aren't many people in Utah or the rest of the country who do not have a Facebook profile or a social media account of some kind. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 57 percent of all American adults have a Facebook page. Due to the prevalence of social media, many divorce cases are affected by what occurs on these sites. An ABC report states that a third of all divorce filings in 2011 included the word "Facebook" and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers claims that 80 percent of all divorce attorneys in the U.S. say that the influence of social media during divorce proceedings is on the rise.

Clues to hidden assets

Although there are many different ways that social media can affect a couple's divorce, one of these is by providing information about hidden assets or the actions of a spouse that could harm them during divorce proceedings, states Forbes. For example, if a husband recently said in court that he was financially devastated, but his Facebook pages shows pictures from a recent trip to Las Vegas or a new car, this evidence can be used against him.

Managing personal accounts

While the online activities of a spouse can hurt them and benefit their husband or wife in return, it is important for divorcing spouses to remember that this can result in consequences for both parties. To ensure that information found on social media sites does not cause harm during divorce proceedings related to property division, child custody or any other aspect of this process, spouses should:

  • Avoiding posting negative comments about their spouse online-Those who are frustrated or upset by their spouse's actions should consider venting to a friend or a trusted confidant.
  • Refrain from hacking into their spouse's accounts-Although it may be tempting, spouses should never login to their ex-partner's social media accounts without permission.
  • Remember that nothing on social media sites is private-Spouses should review their privacy settings and remember that even if they are no longer connected to their spouse, they may have mutual friends in common that could pass along information.
  • Find a diversion-Instead of using social media regularly, those going through the divorce process should involve themselves in activities that they enjoy.

    Although it may be difficult, those divorcing their spouse may ultimately benefit from deactivating their accounts or refraining from accessing them until the divorce agreement has been finalized. If you have any questions regarding the role social media can play during the divorce process or are worried about its influence, contact an attorney in your area who can provide guidance throughout the legal process.

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