In today’s world, social media accounts can play a central role in the divorce process. From deciding who gets to keep certain accounts to making use of the information your spouse posts online, there are various issues to consider with regard to social media and your divorce – as well as some critical mistakes to avoid.
If you are preparing to get divorced in North County, San Diego, or if you are even considering the possibility of getting divorced, here are some important issues to keep in mind with regard to your (and your spouse’s) social media accounts:
1. Any Information You Post Publicly is Fair Game in Your Divorce.
If you post information online, your spouse can use it against you in your divorce. This is true for any photos, videos, and text you post on public accounts, and potentially for information you post to private accounts as well. If your spouse follows your private account, or if he or she is able to view your private posts through a friend or family member who follows you, then anything you post could become evidence in your divorce.
2. This Means that Anything Your Spouse Posts is Fair Game, Too.
Of course, if your social media posts are fair game, then your spouse’s posts are fair game, too. With this in mind, if you have access to your spouse’s social media posts online (but not through logging into his or her account without authorization), it may be worth monitoring his or her social media activity for anything you may be able to use to your advantage.
For example, from photos of recently-purchased luxury items to posts about being too busy to spend time at home, there are various ways that posts which may initially seem innocuous can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings in California.
3. Deleting a Post Does Not Necessarily Mean that it is Irretrievable.
If you made a post that was inadvisable, deleting it does not necessarily mean that it is gone forever. There are various ways to retrieve deleted social media posts during the divorce process, from forensic computing methods to gaining access through the formal process known as “discovery.”
As a result, it is important to think twice before posting on social media while contemplating a divorce, if you post anything at all. Due to the potential for negative consequences, it is generally advisable to stay off of social media prior to and during your divorce if you can force yourself to do so.
4. Hacking Your Spouse’s Social Media Accounts Can Get You in Trouble.
While you can certainly view anything that your spouse posts publicly online, hacking his or her social media accounts can get you into trouble during the divorce process. From privacy concerns to property rights, gaining unauthorized access to social media accounts is fraught with legal issues; and, even if you know your spouse’s password, you should seek legal advice before you do anything that could potentially have a negative impact on the outcome of your divorce.
5. Social Media Accounts May Be Assets that are Subject to Equitable Distribution.
Social media accounts are a form of intangible property; and, as such, they are potentially subject to equitable distribution during the divorce process. There are a number of complex issues that can arise here as well; and, to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your legal rights, you will need to discuss the history of your (and your spouse’s) social media accounts with an experienced divorce attorney.
Request a Confidential Initial Consultation with a North County, San Diego Divorce Lawyer
If you live in the North County, San Diego and are thinking about filing for a divorce, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential initial consultation. To request an appointment with divorce attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist Richard M. Renkin, please call 619-299-7100 or inquire online today.