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The impact of social media on California divorces

Cell phones and social media have become part of daily life in Sacramento. People routinely send their friends pictures of children, pets and notable events in their lives. Even the stress of going through a divorce does not have much effect on how people use social media, but perhaps, it should. The thoughtless transmission of personal information on Facebook, Twitter and the many other forms of social media can have a damaging effect on a contested divorce.

One of the largest pitfalls of using social media is the creation and preservation of evidence that may help the other side. E-mails and text messages are admissible in evidence, and they can be obtained by subpoena. The transmission of vacation pictures at a luxurious resort may cripple the argument of a person who claims to have a low income job to avoid being saddled with high alimony or child support payments. Pictures of a new car could have the same effect.

Other mistaken uses of social media include creating a profile on a dating site while the divorce is still pending. Many profiles contain statements that could only help the other side prove financial means or unfitness to have custody of the children. A picture of one parent being drunk while charged with watching the children could ruin any argument that might support a claim for custody.

Anyone going through a divorce can be assured that the estranged spouse and that spouse's attorney are routinely combing through his or her online life. The surest method to avoid inadvertently giving ammunition to the other party is to refrain from using social media until the divorce is final. Any questions about using social media should be reviewed with an experienced divorce attorney.

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