Your spouse's Facebook may be evidence at your divorce

When people post on their social media sites, they may do so from the privacy of their homes. However, that does not mean their posts are private. In fact, those messages often reach well beyond the poster's friends list.

Like many, you and your spouse may use your Facebook or Twitter accounts as sounding boards when you're having a bad day or a source of inspiration when things are going well for you. What you post or share, however, can have repercussions you may never expect, especially if you are going through a divorce.

What is your spouse doing online?

Your spouse may have been delighted to reconnect on Facebook with old friends from high school or childhood, but when such renewed connections grow into deeper relationships, either online or in person, spouses may find their marriages breaking down. If this is happening in your marriage, your legal team may decide to examine your spouse's digital presence for evidence to use in divorce court, such as:

  • Posts that indicate your spouse is spending time with someone besides you
  • A change in your spouse's relationship status
  • Photos or other posts showing your spouse's extravagant purchases, lavish trips or other examples of spending marital funds
  • Posts that show your spouse is living an upscale lifestyle that may contradict what your partner revealed about his or her finances during the discovery phase of your divorce
  • Posts that contradict information your spouse gave you, such as showing your spouse on a beach after telling you he or she was going on a business trip
  • Posts on professional networking sites that indicate your spouse has additional income he or she did not disclose
  • Registration on online dating sites

Like most states, Virginia offers a no-fault divorce option. However, you can also file on grounds of adultery, among other things. To file under fault, you will need evidence to prove your spouse's misconduct. Additionally, some social media posts may support your claim for a larger share of marital property. You may also have good reason to raise questions about your spouse's fitness as a parent if certain social media posts show inappropriate or illegal behavior.

Even if your spouse tightens the privacy settings on an account or deletes the account altogether, an experienced attorney will have the resources to seek the evidence you need to support your case. Finding an attorney to assist you may improve your chances of meeting your goals.

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