Facebook activity could affect property division in divorce
The process of discovery — gathering information from the other party for use at trial — in divorce cases has been made much easier by social media. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace provide easily accessible information that lawyers in Ontario and elsewhere might not have found previously by using traditional means of discovery. Reportedly, Facebook has become a primary source of information and evidence that can be used in divorce matters such as property division, child custody and more.
Facebook users may not realise that even deleted content is retrievable by forensic experts, and it could potentially serve as evidence in a divorce case. Another misconception is that the consequences of online actions could not be as damaging as in real life. However, flirting online is as real as flirting in a bar, and could jeopardise a person who is seeking child custody.
Compromising social media posts could include photos of a person who claims to be too busy to see his or her children drinking or vacationing with friends. Those who pretend to be unable to afford child support or alimony might want to avoid bragging about expensive purchases on Facebook. It’s best not to post photos about activities that took place when a business trip that was used as an excuse to alter specified visitation arrangements.
Spouses in Ontario could cease social media activities during their divorces, but then forget that compromising information might appear on the Facebook pages of friends or family. Divorce, regardless of how amicable, can be an exceptionally emotional and stressful process. Building a support team that includes an experienced divorce lawyer can ease the experience. Having a professional to provide support and guidance through property division, child custody and other issues could be invaluable.