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Does Facebook have a Role in Divorce Cases?

divorce cases, social mediaDoes Facebook have a role in divorce cases? Many people believe Facebook to be simply a way to have fun, stay in touch with friends play games, and other light-hearted and harmless activities. However, Facebook has been playing an increasing role in divorce cases each year. A new study shows that Facebook is cited in approximately 33 percent of all divorce cases in the United States, which is an increase from results indicating 20 percent of divorce cases in 2009.

Cause for Divorce Cases?

Facebook has no doubt been a facilitator for meeting new romantic partners or for reuniting with past partners. If this happens to a married individual, online messaging may easily lead to in-person meetings, infidelity and, eventually, to divorce. However, researchers state that it is difficult to tell in how many cases Facebook is the true cause of divorce, since many people who may log on to social media more often or and be willing to stray likely have underlying issues in the marriage already.

Whether or not Facebook is the exact impetus for a divorce is not always relevant as a fact by itself in a divorce case, since California has no-fault divorce. However, Facebook can come into play if each spouse is collecting evidence to build a case against the other in a contested divorce.

Digital Discovery

It should not be surprising that a person puts their best foot forward for a family court in order to seek the best possible custody and support determinations possible. It is therefore not rare for a person to fail to fully disclose everything about their financial situation or their behavior. Facebook and other social media sites can provide photos, status updates, and other material that can be used as evidence that a spouse is spending a lot of money, engaging in questionable behavior, and more. Such evidence can be used to demonstrate to the court that a spouse is not being completely forthcoming.

The same is true in reverse, however. If you post photos of yourself on an expensive vacation or out at bars, your spouse may be able to use it against you in your divorce case. Even if you block or “defriend” your spouse, you may have friends in common that may pass on information that you post or allow your spouse to use their account. In short, you should be aware that Facebook can play a much larger role in your divorce than you may have imagined and should always think twice before posting anything during your case.

Contact an Experienced Santa Rosa Family Law Attorney for Help Today

If you are facing divorce, there may be many factors–such as your social media use–that you do not necessarily realize may significantly impact your case. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to advise you on what to do and what not to do during the course of your case to try to ensure the best possible results for you. At Beck Law P.C., we can handle every aspect of your divorce case in the most efficient way possible, so please contact our office for help today.

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