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Email, text messages can impact your divorce case

Going through a divorce can be difficult, but it is important for people to know the impact their online behavior may have on their divorce proceedings, including alimony, child support and child custody decisions. Every person can admit to sending a snarky email or writing an angry post on Facebook. While this may ease some of the stress at the time, it may negatively impact your divorce.

More divorce cases are using evidence from social media sites and emails in court to argue that one spouse deserves more alimony or to impact child custody determinations. Emails, posts online and even photos may be used in a divorce case to show that one parent is unfit or that one spouse lied about their finances.

Couples going through divorce should assume that anything they post or send online may be read by a judge during their divorce case. More and more divorce cases in the U.S. are relying on social media evidence, according to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. They reported that 81 of all divorce cases last year used some evidence from social media against the other spouse.

How is evidence used against someone getting divorced? Photos of embarrassing behaviors such as drinking could be used against one parent to show they are unfit to have full custody of the child. In other cases, posts that say harmful or damaging things about the other spouse can be used to show the true character of a spouse. The AAML reports that 27 percent of divorces include evidence of spouses saying harmful things about each other on social media sites.

As more divorce cases are relying on evidence found on social media sites, couples and parents going through divorce need to be mindful of what they post online and how it could be used against them. With the increase in technology and the popularity of social media, individuals getting divorced should always be aware of their behavior and try to find different ways to vent.

Source: The Washington Times, "Email, texting can become a WMD during a divorce or custody case," Myra Fleischer, April 23, 2013

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