Social Media Evidence in Divorce Proceedings
As the role of social media grows in our day-to-day lives, it also grows in its use in court, including as evidence in divorce proceedings. Many people choose to share a lot of information regarding their personal lives on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, thinking that there is a private element to each of them. However, most social media posts are considered public in some form, and therefore they may be useful (or harmful) to either party going through a divorce. The Nashville divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC have experience utilizing this evidence in court, as well as advising our clients on how to manage their online presence. As one of the most technologically advanced firms in Tennessee, we are familiar with how social media platforms work. We develop and adapt our legal strategies with assistance from high-quality forensic tools, experts, and other resources. If you are going through divorce proceedings or contemplating filing for divorce, contact our office today to see how our firm can help.Social Media Evidence in Divorce Proceedings
Under Tennessee law, divorces can either be based on ‘irreconcilable differences,’ which means that the couple agrees that neither of them is responsible for ending a marriage, or fault-based. In fault-based divorce proceedings, evidence is often gathered to prove that one spouse has acted wrongfully, causing the dissolution of the marriage. Activity and posts on social media can also be used for these purposes. Some studies have reported that one in five divorces list Facebook as a factor in a divorce. Social media evidence may also be used in making determinations regarding property division and alimony awards, as well as child visitation, custody, or support arrangements.
Although most social media sites allow users to either accept or block specific people from viewing posts, there are other ways to gather such evidence. Followers who are allowed access could relay the information to the other spouse or take a screenshot of a post to send along. Social media evidence can be very useful in divorce proceedings, since people are often not as careful to conceal information online. For instance, if a couple going through a divorce has reached a standstill regarding the proper amount of spousal or child support payments, evidence on social media of elaborate vacations or a new car could indicate that one spouse is hiding assets from the other. Even posts intended as jokes, like a negative comment about a child, can be used in relation to custody arrangements.
If you are going through a divorce, it is advisable to keep posts on social media limited and never share anything that you would not want to be used in court. It is also important to remember that even deleted posts can be saved in some form. Attorneys or other parties can contact friends or followers who have access to a spouse’s social media, and some investigators may even use software to gather evidence to aid their arguments. Personal accounts may also be subpoenaed for use in proceedings. Social media evidence is an important tool for any lawyer to use during divorce proceedings, and it is also a potential pitfall for spouses to recognize. Making sure that you have an experienced legal advocate on your side can be vital to your best interests during the course of a divorce.Discuss Your Needs with a Knowledgeable Nashville Lawyer
Social media is a valuable resource for attorneys trying to negotiate on behalf of their clients regarding an array of issues, including spousal support, custody determinations, and other family law matters. The attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC know how to gather and interpret all kinds of evidence in making sure that their clients’ rights are advanced during divorce proceedings. Our firm represents people in Nashville, Franklin, East Nashville, Belle Meade, and Brentwood, as well as elsewhere in Davidson and Williamson Counties. If you need legal guidance in divorce proceedings or regarding another family law matter, contact our office today online or at 615-800-7096 to learn more about our services.