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How social media can be harmful in a divorce

With social media like Twitter and Facebook being as popular as they are, individuals going through a divorce in Texas may not think twice about venting about their ex to people in their online networks. However, some family law attorneys caution that anything put out to the public could be used in a family law court, even if the person making the post thinks that he or she has successfully blocked the ex from viewing it.

If two parents are battling for child custody, anything that could go towards showing that one parent has been negligent may be brought into the custody proceedings. Even if children post something themselves, like evidence that they are skipping school or drinking alcohol, this may incriminate the parent who had custody at the time of the action. If children have access to their parents' social media accounts and one parent is bad-mouthing the other, a judge may see this as being emotionally damaging to the children and weigh it as a factor in awarding custody.

A spouse claiming that he or she needs spousal maintenance following the divorce due to a lack of money may hurt his or her case by posting photos of expensive items purchased or lavish vacations taken. Yet once the damage has already been done and a post has been made, attorneys advise that it is best to leave the post online, since deleting it could be considered destruction of evidence.

With respect to hiding evidence, spouses may also want to keep in mind that even if they hide joint assets from the other, there may still be proof that the money was withdrawn from a joint account. Ideally, spouses should be forthcoming and respectful, but this is not always easy. If a person going through a divorce wants to call on the help of a professional, a family law attorney may be able to help.

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

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