Facebook and Divorce: Airing the Dirty Laundry

Sharing personal details about your everyday life has become a matter of routine for many of those logging on to social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn. From new jobs to new loves, major events to trivial news, the websites have become windows into millions of lives. But remember that old saying: Loose lips sink ships — especially if you’re in the midst of an angry, bitter divorce.

Internet social networking is just that — a portal to reconnect with old friends, find new friends or stay in touch with current friends and family. To most, logging on to a site like Facebook and posting photos or writing updates on your life is fun and harmless. But sometimes writing on a social networking website is like yelling in a crowded room: Everyone will notice you. And posting information about your finances or personal experiences can leave a road map for the soon-to-be-ex spouse and his or her attorney, which can cost you plenty with your post-marriage plans.

Divorce attorneys have taken to reviewing social networking sites as a best practice to glean whatever information they can, looking to see if what a spouse says in court is different from what he or she is saying online.

In one case, a woman filed for divorce against her cheating husband, who claimed he was broke but posted photos of his new Volvo on his Facebook page. In another case, a scorned husband told of how he actually cheated first and still maintained that relationship. While fast fingers typing out angry messages about a spouse for the world to see may be instantly gratifying, the comments provide a treasure trove of information and can end up in the record of a divorce proceeding. One parent, seeking custody of his children, Tweeted that he was drinking again after several years of sobriety. Another parent told of how she mailed jewelry to a friend for safekeeping to keep away from her husband.

Comments like those can affect a person’s post-marriage life. And those who think they’re safe by bumping spouses off their social networking sites — think again. Users must consider that exes may use mutual friends – or even create a phony contact – to stay on top of what the other is saying. It’s that easy.

If you have more questions about the effect on social networking site on your divorce, contact a family law attorney at The Baker Law Firm, LLC located in Phoenix, Arizona.