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Divorce, child custody and social media

Even as more couples here in New Jersey and around the country are deciding to end their marriages amicably, there are other couples who end up in courtroom battles. When parties are going through a divorce or have child custody issues, each of them might be looking for any leverage they can find. People often believe that their social media accounts are private, but in recent years, more evidence used in family courts is coming from social media sites such as Facebook.

People tend to believe that simply blocking or "unfriending" a soon-to-be ex-spouse is enough to keep him or her from seeing posts and photographs. However, they tend to forget that they could be linked through other friends or family, which means that the other side might have access to the content. A picture or post could be taken out of context and jeopardize a party's position in court.

It it recommended that a party not speak badly about the other party online. Not only is there a risk of being accused of slander, but any negative comments could come back to haunt the person who made them. Posting about vacations and other expensive items could also be used against a party when it comes to child support or alimony.

The bottom line is that social media is not as private as many believe. While going through a divorce, it would be a good idea to be careful what a New Jersey resident posts or what is posted about him or her. If there is any doubt about whether a post or photograph could be used against an individual, it should probably not be put out there.

Source:, "Remember: Social Media Can Embarrass You in Divorce Court", John Griffith, May 13, 2016

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