Social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, and the like, are used by millions of people to communicate with one another and to share often intimate aspects of their personal lives. And this is why social media can both help you and hurt you in a San Diego divorce case.
Think about, for instance, seeing cheery vacation snaps from sunny Costa Rica, with happy people partying it up on the beach holding frosty cold beers and having a great time.
Then think about this:
What if one of those party people is your wife or husband and you didn’t find out he or she’d been spending time and money in Costa Rica until you saw the photos posted on Facebook. Then consider that this may have occurred before your separation, before contemplating divorce, or after your marital bank account was cleaned out by your estranged spouse and you were wondering where the money went.
This kind of scenario is frequently played out with infinite variations on social media accounts and can be useful to track the activities and any unusual changes to the lifestyle of the other party to your divorce—or he or she can be doing the same thing to you.
Many social media accounts are entirely public, so you can read about what a person is doing, who he or she is doing it with, where he or she is having coffee or drinks, and how he or she is spending quality time with your children and other people.
In addition, in such a public account, the member’s photos are available to look at and items or photos posted on a Facebook timeline or Instagram account are date-stamped so you can show when these items or information popped up.
Why It Matters in a San Diego Divorce Case
Why is all this important? Keeping in mind that California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you don’t have to prove any cause or reason to ask for and be granted a marital dissolution, you still can use information you obtain from social media to support your case.
Let’s say that you have a temporary custody order that prevents your spouse from taking the children outside San Diego County, then you find out through social media that he or she is posting pictures of the family enjoying trips to Las Vegas and San Francisco. Using this information, you could go back to court to ask for a modification of the temporary orders and potentially seek to further restrict the other parent’s contact and amount of time with the children.
How to Keep Social Media From Hurting Your San Diego Divorce Case
To protect yourself when you’re going through a divorce, it’s best to block your estranged spouse from all your social media accounts or even delete them all. Or, at the very least, stop posting anything that the public can see.
Even people you trust can accidentally release information you have passed on to them through social media, so it’s best to change your privacy settings to allow only you to see items on your Facebook timeline and to transmit nothing to the world about your life or family until after your divorce is final.
Social media, given the right set of circumstances, can track where you’ve been and where you’re going and who you’re doing things with, thus making sure this doesn’t happen is important for your privacy and the smooth processing of your divorce case.
Sure, use social media to investigate the other party in your divorce if he or she is not savvy enough to make online life very private, but make sure that nobody can use social media against you to gain an advantage.
Contact a San Diego Divorce Lawyer
When you’re going through a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the process.
If you are considering divorce or have already made the difficult decision to pursue divorce and have questions, contact JWB Family Law to schedule a free consultation.
The Importance of the CFLS Designation
A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriage, child and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.
Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.