Westside Family Law

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Family law: Social media can have an adverse impact on divorce

Social media has become a significant part of the lives of people in British Columbia. It is not surprising that activities and comments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms are closely watched and can have impacts on any family law decisions made during divorce. While it may be difficult for some, it is recommended that all social media activities are stopped until after a divorce is finalized.

Bragging on social media about purchasing high-priced jewelry, exotic vacations or new cars can cause suspicion of that person being less than truthful about his or her income. A case was mentioned in which a divorce lawyer who was monitoring the social media activities of the spouse of a client came across a second business on LinkedIn. This income was never declared.

Another activity that can count against an individual in a divorce case is frequenting dating sites before the divorce is finalized. Also, posting details and images of parties, drinking and using substances can have an adverse impact on child custody decisions reached by the court. Remember that photos of such activities can be posted on the pages of friends with links to others that may also become public.

Text messages and emails can be used as evidence in a divorce court. Before pushing the send button, it may be wise to imagine the consequences if one sent a copy of each email or text message to the judge or the spouse's lawyer. While it is important to avoid social media sites altogether during the divorce proceedings, accounts must not be deleted, because it might be seen as the destruction of evidence. Retaining the services of a skilled family law professional and following his or her guidance and advice, which will be based on experience, may be the most appropriate route to take when considering a divorce in British Columbia.

Source: groundreport.com, "A Look at How Social Media Is Impacting Divorce Cases", Ben Carrasco, Oct. 2, 2016

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