There is a period of time during the divorce process where each side works to prepare and exchange information for discovery. In the past, this meant financial records, proof of deceit or misbehavior, depositions (sworn statements), interrogatories (your recollections) and requests for admissions, production of documents and tangible things, and disclosure of basic information about claims and witnesses in the lawsuit.
Looking at the digital footprint
Now one’s digital footprint is part of this process as well, including those celebratory photos of kids, sporting triumphs, nights out with friends and important life events posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. While it would not seem to carry the same weight as a deposition or tax return, one’s online profiles will be considered a source for relevant information regarding the accuracy of facts, claims and even custody issues or support. These seemingly harmless photos of cocktails with friends or skiing in Colorado now provide insight into spending habits, mental health issues like addiction, and/or pictures of a parent’s social circle or work life.
Maintaining the status quo online too
Once a couple files for divorce, the courts require couples to not make any major changes to their finances. This means no buying or selling of large assets (unless it is part of the regular job description). Posting photos of fancy trips, new cars or high-ticket events will be noted, particularly if there are disputes over the size of the marital estate and income.
An Experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas can help you determine the best course of action in fact finding and discovery in the digital era, whether it is addressing a client’s legal options or examining the spouse’s legal options.