Technology has changed the way we communicate with loved ones, do our jobs, and generally interact with the world. If you are getting divorced, there are several things you should keep in mind with regard to your digital life. Social media is becoming increasingly relevant in divorce cases and family law disputes. Your use of technology and the Internet may seem unrelated to your divorce at first glance, but there are many different ways that social media, smartphones, email, and other online-based services can impact the outcome of your divorce. In some cases, it can affect spousal maintenance (alimony) and the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody).
Change Your Passwords
According to one study, 67 percent of respondents reported that they knew their spouse’s log-in credentials. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on amicable terms, it is still a good idea to change your passwords when you separate from your spouse to maintain a sense of privacy. It may also be helpful to turn off “location sharing” on applications and websites. You may be logged into your email, Facebook account, or your bank’s website on shared devices like tablets or laptops and not even realize it. It is recommended that you change passwords for:
Bank accounts and credit card accounts that are in your name only
Online shopping accounts, such as Amazon
Cloud services, such as Google Drive, DropBox, and iCloud
Fitness apps that track your location such as Map My Run and Fitbit
Social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Do Not Overshare on Social Media
The information posted on social media is presented as evidence in a large percentage of divorce cases. Social media posts, direct messages, text messages, and email are all admissible in court. Information about your whereabouts, purchases, and social activities can all be used against you during your divorce case. For example, pictures of new purchases such as vehicles or jewelry may be used to argue that a spouse’s income or assets are greater than what he or she has reported, which could change spousal support payment amounts.
Child custody cases can also be heavily influenced by social media evidence. For example, if a parent posts pictures of himself or herself drinking at a bar several nights a week, the other parent may claim that this is evidence of the parent’s inability to be a responsible caretaker. Therefore, parenting time may be supervised or reduced in certain situations.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney
If you are planning to divorce your spouse, you should be aware of how your online presence can impact the proceedings. Changing passwords and avoiding social media can ensure that your spouse cannot use certain behaviors against you, such as extravagant spending. For dependable legal guidance regarding a wide range of divorce and family law concerns, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Call us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our qualified DuPage County child custody lawyers.