The Role Social Media Plays in a Divorce
In the 21st century, social media plays a large role in our daily lives. For better or worse, it can also play a large role in a divorce. A person’s internet presence can often lead to the production of information one party may wish to hide against the other.
The discovery process is essential to the marital dissolution process. The first step to discovery is the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosures, where both spouses are required to provide information and documentation to the other side. Additionally, either party may request information or documentation through more formal discovery means.
Discovery of a parties’ social media account may be particularly important because it may include information regarding a parties’ income, expenses, or assets. And, it may include statements that can be used as admissions in the family court. In one particular case, a party’s post on social media regarding an incident occurring at a restaurant was used against him in a restraining order action. (See People v Shivers 235 Cal.App.4th Supp. 8 (Cal. Super. 2015).
A party’s social media account may contain evidence that the other party wished to conceal from the family court action believing that the post would remain private. However, social media leaves footprints which may last forever and may be discoverable in a family law action.
Navigating the legal aspects of how social media may impact your divorce process can be very confusing and may seem overwhelming as social media plays such a large role in today’s society. We at Mello & Pickering LLP have over 40 years combined family law experience and can help you navigate the issues surrounding the impact social media can have during your divorce. Call our office for a free consultation and we can help to ensure that your interests are protected and assist you in navigating through the process of your case.