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Spouses: Take care when using social media during a divorce

It is common for people to post comments to social media without a second thought. However, for Texas residents going through a divorce, these comments may have unforeseen consequences.

The biggest mistake that social media users make is thinking that what they post is private. Even if the spouse is blocked on Facebook, for instance, there are still ways for them to access any posts or comments made. The spouse can make a fake account or get another friend to send screenshots of the posts. Photos and vacation updates can be problematic, particularly when a spouse is claiming in their divorce proceedings that they are in need of money. Such posts can be used as evidence to the contrary.

Social media use by children can also be problematic. Photographs posted on a teenager's profile that show them drinking alcohol or some similar activity while a spouse was supposed to be caring for them could be used as evidence in a custody hearing. Also, when a child can see the spouse's hateful comments about their ex, this could hurt the child and make them feel the distance between their parents more than usual.

Attorneys recommend that spouses stay mindful of the big picture when using social media, particularly during a divorce. Everything posted on social media could make a difference when presented to a judge at a hearing and have serious consequences for child custody and spousal support outcomes.

Social media use is just one aspect that needs to be considered as the divorce process continues. An attorney may be able to properly counsel a spouse on how to use their social media accounts and prevent any unnecessary trouble. The attorney may also be able to help with other divorce matters, such as negotiating visitation plans, property division and spousal support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Divorce Mistakes You Don't Even Know You're Making", Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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