How social media is used in divorce and custody cases and the potential consequences
Statistics show that 82% of Americans have a social media account. (1) With social media so highly used it’s expected that individuals will use it during all phases of their life, even during a divorce. However, what most people don’t know is that using social media the wrong way during a divorce can actually be used against them and can be detrimental to their case.
How is Social Media Used in Divorce Cases?
In a divorce, social media may be used in many different ways:
Evidence of Infidelity
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are popular avenues for cheating spouses to communicate with their extramarital partners. Lawyers and investigators may search social media platforms for evidence of infidelity, such as messages or photos exchanged between the cheating spouse and their partner. This evidence can be used to support claims of adultery or to negotiate settlements.
Social media can also be used to discover hidden assets during divorce proceedings. In Connecticut, each spouse is entitled to an equitable distribution of marital assets, which includes any property or assets acquired during the marriage. If one spouse is suspected of hiding assets, their social media activity may reveal evidence of these assets, such as photos of expensive purchases or vacations.
Parenting Time and Parental Fitness
Social media posts and photos can even be used to evaluate a parent’s fitness for custody or visitation. For example, if a parent is shown to be regularly engaging in excessive drinking or drug use on social media, this could be used as evidence of their unsuitability as a custodial parent. Similarly, a parent’s social media activity can be used to demonstrate their availability and willingness to be involved in their child’s life.
Social media activity can also be used to evaluate a spouse’s character and behavior during divorce proceedings. For example, if one spouse is shown to be regularly posting negative comments or derogatory remarks about their spouse on social media, this could be used as evidence of their hostile attitude and inability to cooperate. Judges may take into account a spouse’s social media activity when making decisions about alimony, child support, and property division.
It’s important to note that the use of social media in divorce cases must be done in accordance with the law and ethical standards. Lawyers and investigators must obtain social media evidence legally and ethically, and they cannot engage in any illegal activities, such as hacking into someone’s social media account.
Do Judges Consider Social Media Posts as Evidence?
Yes, judges in Connecticut do consider social media posts as evidence in family law cases, including divorce and custody cases. Social media evidence can be used to provide insight into a person’s character, behavior, and lifestyle, and it can also provide evidence of specific incidents or behaviors that may be relevant to the case.
In Connecticut, the rules of evidence require that evidence be relevant, reliable, and authenticated in order to be admissible in court. Social media evidence can meet these requirements if it is obtained legally and can be authenticated as being from the social media account of the person in question. However, it is important to note that not all social media content may be admissible in court. Judges will evaluate social media evidence on a case-by-case basis, and will consider factors such as the relevance of the evidence, the credibility of the source, and whether the evidence was obtained legally.
Of Course, Social Media Evidence is Not the Only Factor Considered
It is also important to note that social media evidence may not be the only factor considered by a judge in making a decision in a family law case. Judges will also consider other types of evidence, such as testimony from witnesses, financial records, and other documents that are relevant to the case.
Social media has become a major part of modern life, with billions of people around the world using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with others and share information. While social media can have many positive effects, it also has the potential to cause problems in divorce and custody cases. In Connecticut, social media has become an increasingly important factor in family law, with lawyers and judges alike taking note of the potential impact that these platforms can have on legal proceedings.
If you’re going through a divorce you should be very careful regarding what you decide to post and when you post it. It’s always best to get the help of a legal professional and get in touch with a lawyer early in your case so you do not end up making any irreversible mistakes that could turn the case against your favor.
Need Help With Your Divorce Case? Get in Touch with a Divorce Lawyer in CT Today
Get in touch with an experienced divorce lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get help with your divorce case, and to get assistance understanding the legal aspects of divorce.
Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible