Social media has become a part of daily life for most Texas residents. With the ability to share one’s day with the click of a button or touch of the screen, many Americans are turning to social media as a way to keep connected with loved ones and friends. But as with any platform that one may use to share their personal life, couples going through a divorce may wish to keep some things off of the screen, especially when it comes the division of marital assets that one may want to keep out of the divorce.
It is a little known fact that sharing pictures of daily dealings in one’s life on social media then become public domain and can be used by anyone for whatever purpose they see fit. This includes text messages, emails, pictures and private messages, which are all admissible in court and can even be subpoenaed. If a party in a divorce proceeding is trying to hide part of his or her income or how his or her money is being spent, the pictures and updates on Facebook and Twitter can be used to prove otherwise.
One Texas attorney recently was able to obtain information on a client’s ex-spouse to prove his income was considerably more than he had reported to the courts. With the use of his Linkedln account, the attorney was able to show the evidence of a lucrative side business, thus securing more child support for his client than she would have otherwise received. Another attorney was able to prove that his clients ex did, in fact, have a job, which he claimed the opposite. The posts online boasted his new job and pictures confirmed expensive trips with his girlfriend. Due to the submitted court evidence, the man was denied alimony.
A divorce can be rough, and social media can be a means for an attorney or judge to obtain information on a spouse that may not be pleasant. The division of marital assets in a Texas court is split equally, provided the judge sees fit. Parties who are untruthful with regards to employment or try to hide income or assets may want to rethink before posting pictures or status updates using social media.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “A Look at How Social Media is Impacting Divorce Cases“, William Morrow, June 23, 2017