With Valentine’s Day – the ceremonial day of love – fast approaching, men who are separated or going through a divorce need to be extra careful in how you show their love to the new special someone in you life.
So before you tweet your love or post on her Facebook wall a dozen roses, remember that social networking sites are a “treasure trove of information” that are increasingly being used as evidence in divorce cases, according to Scott Trout, managing partner of domestic litigation firm Cordell & Cordell, P.C.
Attorneys will scour your social network pages – and your girlfriend’s – for anything that could be used in the divorce case. In fact, 81% of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).
Any time you are preparing to send a text message, an e-mail, a status update, or a wall post, stop and ask yourself, how many different ways can this be interpreted?
For instance, if you post on Facebook the new diamond bracelet you bought your girlfriend it could come back and haunt you if you say you are unable to pay a certain level of child support or maintenance, Trout said.
“Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny. If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence,” said Marlene Eskind Moses, president of the AAML. “As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations.”
A major thorn in cases today is the popularity of social networking sites, according to an article written by Erica Christian, an attorney with Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Status updates, wall postings and photo uploads are now being used as evidence in all types of litigation.
Even if your or your girlfriend’s profile is set to private your posts are not safe; there are a variety of ways to still obtain the information. Text and photo messages can also cause damage to a case.
So remember to be careful this Valentine’s Day and think about the possible consequences before you send a text or post on her wall.