Texts and emails are like written documents that can be submitted in court and viewed by a judge. They are not temporal things that can be erased, so it’s best to keep sensitive information off limits during a divorce proceeding.
Queens, NY (PRWEB) April 12, 2017
Social media’s ability to connect people and foster like-minded communities is well documented. But the age of sharing, posting, uploading, and commenting has an impact on all aspects of people’s lives, even the parts they would rather keep private. During a divorce case, social media can be used as a way to collect evidence, and it ultimately has a very important impact on everything from alimony and child support to custody. Bruce Feinstein, Esq., shares insight on social media and divorce after seeing a rise in its use in divorce cases.
Sharing positive experiences is at the heart of social media. It can also become a way for people to incriminate themselves in a divorce case. If a spouse claims to lack sufficient income to make alimony payments or pay child support, photos of his or her expensive vacations, new cars, and extravagant purchase can prove otherwise. “Honesty has always been the best policy when dealing with a divorce case, but that saying is even more true in the age of social media,” explains Mr. Feinstein. “Lawyers can quickly find LinkedIn profiles that lead to a hidden source of income, or find a friend’s posts of lavish trips taken with an ex-spouse even if the ex blocks his or her spouse online. Research and discovery are much faster now.”
Emails and texts are another form of online evidence that is admissible in court in a divorce case. They can also be subpoenaed. Examples of incriminating messages range from notes about a bonus that were hidden from financial records, to threatening messages sent from one spouse to another. Mr. Feinstein says, “It’s best to look at texts and emails as written documents that can be submitted in court and viewed by a judge. They are not temporal things that can be deleted forever, so spouses need to keep sensitive information off limits during a divorce proceeding.”
The impact of social media on child custody can’t be ignored when looking at divorce today. Photos of a parent intoxicated at a party, or evidence from a gaming site of a parent playing online when they claimed they were with their children can quickly be used as examples of endangerment and neglect. This can cause a judge to rule against a spouse on child custody or alimony decisions. “All social media interactions can quickly become great tools for evidence because they track timing, location, and interactions a spouse has with others,” says Mr. Feinstein.
In every case, the best advice Mr. Feinstein has for spouses is to refrain from social media during a divorce proceeding in New York. Some people go as far as to delete their online profiles, but doing so during a case can be seen as destructing evidence. So using sound judgment and working with an experienced divorce lawyer can help avoid the potential pitfalls of mixing social media with an important divorce case.
The Law Offices of Bruce Feinstein has nearly two decades of experience in divorce and family law, helping clients and families resolve their issues and move forward with their lives. If you are thinking of getting married or divorced and want more information visit feinsteindivorcelaw.com or call (718) 475-6039 to reach the New York office.