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Social Media Can Play a Major Role in Divorce

Social media frequently plays a large role in a divorce. There are two potential take aways from this general statement. The first is that social media may cause divorce or marital unhappiness, as one study recently pointed out. The second is that the data and content on your social media accounts could be used during your divorce proceeding. This is the crucial interaction between divorce and social media that many couples are missing - or simply don't know - when a spouse decides to file for divorce.

The information on your social media sites can paint a detailed picture about what you are doing with your life and what you are thinking at any given moment. Status updates on Facebook show people how you feel. Private messages on Twitter can reveal embarrassing or scandalous interactions with another person. Instagram data can establish a timeline of events, such as places you've been and people you've been with.

All of this information can be used by you or your spouse to support either side's (depending upon the nature of the evidence) divorce claims in court. At the same time, it isn't wise to delete your social media accounts if you are going through a divorce and fear reprisal. Deleting that information isn't going to make it go away. There are still ways to uncover deleted social media information. Even worse, you could be accused of a legal violation called "spoliation of evidence." The best possible approach is to be careful what you post on any accounts, and if possible, avoid posting at all.

As many of us recognize from the business or academic context, it is best to proceed with caution on social media at all times. But in the context of a divorce, in particular, it is probably best for you to simply avoid using your social media accounts for an extended period of time.

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