Many Pennsylvania residents share their cherished moments with others by posting videos, images and accounts of significant events on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Posting this kind of content can sometimes backfire badly if the individual concerned becomes embroiled in a bitter divorce. Angry spouses and savvy family law attorneys will often scrutinize social media accounts for uploaded content that contradicts claims of financial hardship or fidelity being made during asset division, child custody and spousal support negotiations.
Spouses who feel that they may be placed at a disadvantage by their online activity may seek to limit the damage by removing potentially embarrassing posts or deleting entire social media accounts. However, these efforts usually come far too late to do any real good. Individuals who are thinking of pursuing a divorce often begin preparing well in advance of filing any paperwork, and they may check emails, social media activity and financial records long before their spouse knows anything is amiss.
Even when sensitive online information is deleted before it can cause real damage, it may not really be gone. Several online resources archive websites. In some cases, Facebook friends or Twitter followers may have reposted or retweeted potentially inflammatory content and set off a chain reaction that even the most capable technology experts would find impossible to contain.
Social media posts sent out in anger can make reaching a negotiated settlement extremely difficult in a divorce case. When emotions are running high and divorcing couples appear headed toward a costly showdown in court, family law attorneys may suggest taking an alternative approach such as mediation or collaborative divorce.