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How is social media used in a divorce?

Just a few decades ago, this world lacked the technology that many Minnesota residents can't seem to live without today. There were no smartphones or tablets, which meant that there wasn't even any social media. Email, snail mail and the telephone had to be used to inform friends and family of important events and daily happenings. While many people can't function without their daily fix of Facebook and Twitter, many regret using it - especially when it's being used as evidence in a divorce.

While the intent of many social media users is to reconnect with long-lost friends and relatives, some cross the line. They may post compromising photos or use Facebook to rekindle the flame with an old love. While a person may think that their privacy settings will prevent an ex-spouse or lawyer from accessing questionable posts, the fact is that anything posted on these sites can be seen by anyone and can be used as evidence in a divorce.

So what kinds of evidence can be used in a divorce? Photos of a person partying or hanging out with friends can viewed negatively when that parent claims that he or she was out of town on business and unable to see the kids. Another example is a parent showing photos of a new mansion or sports car, even though he or she claims to be unemployed and unable to pay child support. Facebook can also be used to prove infidelity, especially when the person posts photos with a new flame or changes his or her status to single.

When using social media, it's best to be on the safe side, especially during a divorce. Oversharing can have negative consequences and affect areas such as child support and custody. Use good judgment and think before posting.

Source: FindLaw, "Facebook Divorce," accessed Nov. 15, 2014

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