The use of social media is ubiquitous; the majority of adults living in the United States are on at least one type of social media platform. Further, posting intimate details of one’s life on social media is becoming common – in today’s world, people share information about their relationships, their children, and their activities.
While sharing this information with family, friends, and perhaps co-workers and other associates may seem relatively harmless, if you are going through a divorce in Michigan, you may want to rethink your social media practices. While Michigan is a no-fault divorce state – meaning that a party in a divorce does not have to prove that their spouse did anything wrong to warrant the divorce – fault may play a role in a determination about the terms of a divorce. Social media may also fuel the fire, so to speak, between you and your divorcing spouse.
How Social Media May Affect the Terms of a Divorce
Many couples seek a divorce in which the terms of that divorce are contested; very few couples agree about things like alimony, property division, and child custody from the onset. If couples cannot come to an agreement about said issues on their own, then a court will make a determination for them. If a court is responsible for issuing a judgment, each party to the divorce will have an opportunity to present their case before the court. Posts on social media can, and likely will, be used as evidence to support one’s side.
Consider the following situation, in which one party in the divorce is seeking a large alimony payment, and the amount that they are seeking is based (in part) on the spouse’s adulterous behavior. The party from whom the spousal support is being sought denies that adultery occurred, and claims that the alleged fault should not be a factor in the court’s decision. (As a note, there are numerous factors that a court will weigh in determining alimony).
Despite the denial, the spouse requesting alimony presents evidence to the court of the other spouse’s social media activity – like pictures of the spouse and another person together – which supports the claim that the spouse was indeed having an affair during the marriage.
The same is true for a parent who is seeking custody of a child. While a court must make a decision based on the best interests of the child, evidence from social media may be enough to prove that awarding custody to one of the parents would not be within the child’s best interests. For example, consider photos of one parent drinking excessively, engaging in illicit behavior, or even badmouthing the other spouse publicly.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Of course, posting to social media may also fuel the fire between you and your spouse, which can make things harder to resolve. While social media is enjoyable, the best thing that you can do is to suspend your account while in the midst of a divorce proceeding.
For legal advice regarding your rights during divorce, as well as representation during the divorce process, consult the
aggressive Michigan divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today.