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Know the risks of social media and divorce laws in Maryland

The growth in popularity of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter is having an influence on Maryland couples going through divorce. This phenomenon is something that a Howard County divorce lawyer is seeing more and more frequently. While these websites can be a useful way to gain advice or simply talk about one’s problems, they can also be a place where one or both spouses will say something they should not, which can come back to haunt them during a divorce proceeding.

In social media, one has to be careful who they are talking to, or who they may be talking about. A person who appears to be a kindred spirit or concerned friend might actually be trying to trap the unknowing user. In some cases, this could be a stranger or a mutual friend of the divorcing couple. It’s becoming prevalent for a family law attorney to see marriages and circles of friends take sides in a divorce and much of that is due to social media back-and-forth. Accusations of infidelity can occur whether they’re true or not and cause greater strife during the divorce process. Even when sinister forces are not at play, seemingly innocuous things like tweets and status updates could end up being evidence in a court proceeding, even if the ex-spouse doesn’t have direct access to the posts.

Another aspect of communication in today’s world is email and text messages. These methods of communication are often admissible in court, so it can be wise to take care in what is written because it could cause trouble later on no matter how innocuous it is. This too can benefit or harm one’s standing during a divorce, depending on the context and circumstances regarding who said what to whom.

Divorce can be a trying time and knowing how online communications are viewed can be difficult. If there is any confusion as to what should and shouldn’t be shared in an email, text message, tweet or Facebook posting, an attorney can be a solid resource regarding their use in past divorces in Maryland and how it can affect someone going through the process.

Source: Forbes, “How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce,” Jeff Landers, Aug. 20, 2013

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