Social Media and Divorce
Over 80 percent of Americans use some form of online social networking to connect with the public or a smaller audience. As a venue for sharing personal views and activities, social media sites allow people to publish opinions, news items, photographs, videos, and other kinds of information online. However, it is important to note that these communications and posts could have legal implications during a divorce. Ingrid Gherman is a New York City divorce lawyer who is proficient in all aspects of family and matrimonial law. With more than 35 years of experience, she understands the impact of social media on divorce proceedings. Ms. Gherman can work to use information in an ex-spouse’s social media posts in favor of her client, while defending against insinuations based on their own use of social media.The Role of Social Media in Divorce Cases
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are popular examples of forums that allow users to document their lives online, in addition to various career and dating websites. In general, data created from your online presence, including your participation in social media websites, is traceable or otherwise recoverable, even after its deletion. As a result, photographs, electronic messages, and statements posted online at any time by you, your spouse, or potentially others may be considered by the court if they are sufficiently authenticated and relevant to a contested matter in your divorce. Child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division are the main issues affected by social media evidence.
Perhaps the most significant consequence to parents is the impact that social media evidence may have on a child custody determination by the court. In determining a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child, the court is allowed to weigh many factors at its discretion. In particular, the court must consider relevant evidence of the parents’ stability, morality, domestic environment, and past conduct, some of which may be found online. While the law presumes that it is in the child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with both parents after a divorce, the court could find that one parent is unfit to be the child’s primary custodian based on certain evidence, including information found on social media sites. A record of your ex-spouse harassing or ridiculing you to the public or to your children on their social media account, for example, could support a judgment awarding less parenting time. Similarly, evidence of your ex-spouse engaging in illegal activities or unlawful drug use may be found through their own statements on Twitter, in a Facebook photo posted by a friend, or other online sources.
Social media accounts can also provide insight into the economic resources of your ex-spouse. For example, photographs of your ex on an extended vacation, with a newly purchased sports car, or wearing expensive jewelry could undercut their position if they have alleged a need for spousal maintenance or denied that their income is sufficient to provide it. Social media sites may also be useful in revealing undisclosed property, assets, or income that should have been included in your ex-spouse’s Statement of Net Worth.Seek Advice from a New York City Lawyer During a Divorce
If you are considering a separation from your spouse, a family law attorney can explain your legal options and represent you throughout the proceedings. Ingrid Gherman is an accomplished advocate in New York City who has guided many individuals through complex and emotional situations. From high-asset divorce litigation to the modification of a child custody order, Ms. Gherman has the skills and professionalism to help you pursue a satisfactory outcome. She can assist residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, in addition to Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. You can set up a consultation with an attorney online or by calling the Law Office of Ingrid Gherman, P.C. at (212) 941-0767.