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Status updates can lower one's financial status in a divorce

For many in Florida, updating their Facebook status is a regular part of their day or week. Social media is a great way to share information about one's achievements and activities, and to connect to friends and family who are far away. However, when divorce is on the horizon, social media users should carefully evaluate what they post, and how their actions could be used against them in court.

Online content is turning up in more and more divorce cases, a trend that is not likely to abate any time soon. Divorce attorneys are typically savvy in using social media to support their legal arguments, and family court judges are considering new forms of evidence that were simply not available in decades past. In many cases, seemingly innocuous posts made months in the past are coming back to bite spouses who failed to acknowledge the risk of sharing their personal lives online.

One example of how social media can affect a court case involves issues of child support. It would be hard to argue that a parent cannot pay a certain level of child support when their Facebook account is full of images of expensive vacations and the latest high-tech gadgets. Similarly, photos and postings that suggest heavy drinking or drug use can be used to limit one's access to their children, if a judge can be convinced that the parent in question is unable to make wise choices or ensure the safety of a child within their care.

When it comes to social media and divorce, it may be best to simply cease posting any new content until the divorce process is complete. Alternatively, Florida users can edit their comments with an eye toward any chance that the content can be used against them in court. In the case of online data and divorce, a measure of restraint can prevent a great deal of legal trouble as the process moves forward.

Source: The Dickinson Press, "Online information often used in divorce proceedings," Meredith Holt, July 27, 2013

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