Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
People in Maryland may have seen a recent editorial about the impact social media can have on the divorce process, and how people need to make sure to protect their privacy when it comes to divorce-related comments. On the other side of the coin, people can also use information gleaned from social media to their legal advantage under the right circumstances.
When people are going through a divorce, a common and naturally therapeutic response is to share things about one’s life with friends. Now that social media is such a ubiquitous part of many people’s lives, oftentimes this communication happens over social media or other online sources where privacy might be taken for granted.
For example, when a couple divorces, friends tend to side with one spouse over the other. However, in a world where people commonly have hundreds of Facebook friends, some of these connections may have shifted allegiances and may decide to help “spy” for the other spouse. People need to be cognizant of their pictures, comments and anything else they post to online social media, since anyone out there could be watching for telltale clues about that person’s lifestyle, assets or new relationships. If you don’t want the general public to know about it, don’t put it online.
There are also numerous ways in which people can use social media to legally and ethically glean information about an ex-spouse that could be useful in a complex divorce proceeding. For example, an ex who won’t cooperate with disclosure requirements during asset division, but also posts pictures of lavish new purchases and expensive vacations, could be unknowingly providing fodder for the other ex to use in court. People should never take to illegal espionage, and should always have professional divorce attorney to review this information for its potential validity in a legal proceeding.
Source: Forbes “How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce,” Jeff Landers, August 20, 2013