Can Facebook affect a divorce? Yes.

With the rise of Facebook and social media, your Internet presence can become your worst enemy in a divorce. All of your posts, pictures, status updates, timeline events and everything in between can be used against you in divorce proceedings. This works both ways; anything your spouse posts can also be used against him or her.

Evidence of hidden assets increasingly being used in divorce courts

Hidden assets are a common problem during divorces, but now ex-spouses may have a new tool to uncover assets that a former partner may be hiding from them. According to Metro News, divorce courts are seeing an increase in the number of times Facebook and other social media websites are being cited as evidence during divorces. In fact, social media can have major and often unintended consequences on divorces and may reveal potentially damaging information.

Guidelines for Social Media and Divorce

Don’t post what you don’t want shared

According to Forbes, family lawyers are increasingly advising their clients to stay away from social media during divorce. Photos posted on Facebook can be subpoenaed as evidence in divorce court, meaning a small mistake made by one spouse can have major consequences later on, especially when it comes to dividing property or determining support amounts.

Posting a picture of a brand new car, for example, or updating one’s status to describe a recent vacation could reveal financial impropriety, especially if the spouse doing such posting claims not to have enough money for spousal or child support.

Not all “friends” are friends

While staying away from Facebook during a divorce is certainly a good idea, the fact is that there’s much that goes online that people have little control over. Obviously, Facebook “friends” are not always one’s real friends and their posts can have serious consequences. After all, while former spouses may have blocked each other on Facebook, they are likely to have mutual friends that can see what each spouse is posting and relay that information to the other spouse.

For example, if a friend posts a picture of a vacation in the Caribbean with one of the parties to a divorce, then questions may arise over how that party could afford such a vacation, especially when his financial affidavit says he is struggling with money. Such photos can and have been used as evidence in divorce and deleting photos is no guarantee that they have disappeared. Screen shots may have been taken before an offending picture was taken down, meaning it’s best to avoid posting anything in the first place that may harm one’s divorce case.

Austin Divorce Attorneys for the Digital Age

Divorce, as the above story shows, can be complicated and can often lead to difficult and unexpected issues arising. While many people believe they can handle their divorce on their own, the truth is that the various and convoluted legal issues raised by any divorce require the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Such an attorney can advise clients about the best way to proceed during a divorce so that their rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

At the Vaught Law Firm, our lawyers know how to effectively guide you through the complex issues that arise when Facebook and social media material are a part of your divorce, whether you have discovered questionable content on your spouse’s Facebook account or your spouse is trying to leverage Facebook evidence in a divorce. Our in-depth understanding of how to handle evidence generated by Facebook and other Internet sites has allowed us to protect the interests of many clients in Austin and throughout Texas. We help you understand issues such as:

More than Facebook
Facebook is not the only source of digital information that must be examined in a divorce. Twitter, forum posts, text message logs, online video game activity, email and all other digital activity must be carefully examined.

Privacy issues
It can be difficult to obtain evidence from Facebook, even with a subpoena. We understand how to navigate the evolving privacy laws that can affect access to relevant information on Facebook and other sites.

Think before you post
When in doubt about whether or not to post something to Facebook, do not do it. The risks of posting something that can later come back and affect your custody arrangement do not justify the momentary satisfaction you may get from posting an incendiary message or status update.

We are known in the legal community as a firm at the forefront of this emerging family law topic, and are we often asked to give our proprietary seminar — “Sex, Lies and Facebook: A Texas Divorce” — to professionals and executives throughout the state.

Contact Vaught Law Firm, P.C.

When you need family law counsel in Texas, call our firm at 512-342-9980 or contact us online.