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Social Media use has Pitfalls for Divorcing North Carolinians

North Carolina couples who are going through divorce may experience a variety of emotions and feel the need to vent. But, venting over social media can create unneeded complication.
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    November 22, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Social media use has pitfalls for divorcing North Carolinians

North Carolina couples who are going through divorce may experience a variety of emotions and feel the need to vent. Venting over coffee or a beer with a friend is one thing, but sharing feelings with the world through electronic media is another, and can lead to trouble.

Social media communications are public

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorce attorneys have seen a sharp rise in the use of evidence from social networking sites over the past few years.

Whatever is posted online can be recovered, even if a user thinks it's been erased or deleted. Facebook posts, along with content from Twitter and blogs, are fair game for an ex-spouse's attorney to discover and bring into court. Courts have not been extending privacy rights to such electronic communications.

Negative messages about exes can backfire

One soon-to-be ex-wife no doubt came to regret a blog post she wrote about her husband. She labeled him a thief, liar and cheat, and said he was untrustworthy. When the husband's employer read the post, it had a negative impact on the husband's career. His earning capacity suffered, along with his ability to provide financially for his children and ex-wife in the future.

When children are involved, expressing anger at the ex via social media can be an especially bad idea. Judges react with distaste when parties in a divorce use Facebook updates, blogs and tweets to trash their children's other parent. Custody and support decisions can be affected, and children who see those electronic communications will likely find them disturbing.

Postings can reveal things about the poster, too

When engaged in a custody dispute, people are unwise to share messages online about drinking, using drugs or having a wild sex life. Photos showing such behavior are likewise apt to cause a judge to wonder about a person's fitness as a parent.

People going through divorce also need to consider that evidence from social media can be used to undermine their credibility. For example, someone who claims to have no money for spousal maintenance or child support may be construed as a liar if he or she posts photos from a recent expensive vacation on Facebook.

Use common sense

Divorce attorneys recommend thinking twice before posting. It may help to imagine that whatever is put on social media will appear permanently on a big billboard for everyone to see. If public exposure of a picture or message would be embarrassing under any circumstances, that's a good indication that it should not be posted.

An experienced North Carolina divorce attorney will be able to provide additional advice for anyone considering or going through divorce. It is wise to consult an attorney early in order to avoid serious mistakes when using social media.

Article provided by Caldwell, Helder, Helms & Robison, P.A.
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