Whether you have children with your spouse and have been married for 30 years or you have no children and have only been married for six months, social media can play a major role during your divorce.
If you do make the decision to file for divorce, it is a good idea to review all social media accounts, text messages, and emails before filing. I would suggest reviewing not only your own posts and messages, but your spouses as well (without logging into their accounts of course).
Facebook is likely the most popular of all social media websites. Almost everyone has a Facebook account these days, and print outs of posts are being used in the majority of contentious divorce cases that I handle.
Here are some helpful hints that apply to Facebook and most other social media sites as well.
Do Not Disparage
Telling the online world how much you hate your spouse and why they are such a bad person is not going to help your divorce case. Yes, Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state, however, fault and character can still come into play during a divorce proceeding. Therefore, do not post any negative remarks about your spouse on any type of social media before, during, or after your divorce case.
Just because you delete your spouse as your friend does not mean that they cannot get access to your nonpublic posts in some other way. I often see spouses gain access to posts through a mutual friend’s account that the other spouse may forgot they were friends with. Therefore, before you post anything think to yourself if you would post the same thing if it were totally public. If you would not post the same thing publicly, do not post it at all.
Screenshot and Print
A situation may arise where you are reading your spouse’s posts and think that something they posted may be helpful for your case. When this happens, you need secure that post by taking a screenshot on your cell phone or printing the post from your computer. I have seen it many times where my client has not secured the post in some way and their spouse subsequently deletes the post all together, making it impossible to use as evidence. Lastly, when taking a screenshot or printing off the post, you must make sure that the date and time of the post along with your spouse’s name or screen name are clearly visible. This will help for identification purposes if the post needs to be used as evidence.
These hints are a very small snippet of what you should be aware of when going through a divorce. If you or anyone that you know are thinking about filing for a divorce, I offer free consultations and would be happy to discuss your specific scenario in more detail. Call my office at (734) 285-5625 to set up your free consultation.
– Attorney Kory K. Shimek