Digital Communications Play A Surprising Role in Divorce and Divorce Proceedings
10 April 2015IN: Family Law
Facebook and other platforms are often at the heart of heated splits
The digital age has presented us with countless ways to interact, share ideas and make connections with people around the globe. Social media platforms like Facebook draw millions of users, with billions of posts, tweets, likes and shares occurring in any given day.
While much of social media usage is positive and entertaining, these platforms possess an inherent “dark side” for many users. From bullying to cheating, Facebook and other platforms offer a means of communication to facilitate inappropriate action.
The root of divorce
Surprisingly, social media platforms like Facebook play a role in the events leading to many divorces. The fires of jealousy, mistrust and anger can be fanned by a spouse’s behavior on the site – interactions with ex partners, inappropriate communications with friends of the opposite sex and other activities may lead to issues between a couple.
Facebook may also play a role in extramarital affairs. When a user can connect with nearly anyone from around the globe, the potential for creating an online relationship that eventually turns physical is real.
Unearthing old memories
In the months and years following a divorce, Facebook may serve as a source of emotional distress. The ability to relive past moments via photos and interactions may cause stress to Facebook users. Additionally, the thought of seeing your former spouse move forward with another partner, all displayed in full detail, may lead to jealousy, depression or anger.
In short, while Facebook is a usable tool and an enjoyable distraction, the platform is not without its drawbacks, especially following a divorce or split.
Facebook as a means of serving divorce papers?
As amazing as it sounds, the social media platform has been used to serve divorce papers when all other strategies failed. A recent case in New York involving a woman who could not physically find her husband, or a relative of his. The woman sought the approval of the court to transmit the papers via Facebook message, which seemed to be the only viable method of reaching him.
While it may seem ridiculous, the regular transmission of legal documents via social media and other digital means is likely to become an acceptable way of serving a party. Most certainly the idea will be explored, as will its moral and legal implications.
Can Facebook be used during divorce proceedings?
Facebook’s ability to document and archive a user’s behavior and interactions makes it a usable tool for researching an individual’s past actions. In some divorce proceedings, Facebook may be used as an unofficial piece of evidence to demonstrate a spouse’s infidelity, substance abuse or violent language. When all else is equal, such evidence can be useful in proving a claim against a former spouse. Child custody disputes are a common area in which Facebook posts or interactions may play a role – it may be possible to prove a parent’s inability to provide care for their children by demonstrating a history of alcohol or drug abuse or other inappropriate action using past Facebook activities.
Have you made the decision to file for divorce?
If you have made the decision to end your marriage, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of David L. Scott, our Murfreesboro divorce attorney provides comprehensive divorce guidance to Murfreesboro and surrounding area clients in an effort to end the legal process as quickly and painlessly as possible.