Articles Posted in Social networking

In some ways, new advances in technology can make surviving a divorce much easier. For example, email, video chat services, and online scheduling products can potentially make communicating with your children while they are in the care of your former spouse easier. In other ways, however, technology’s role in our daily lives may become a trap for the unwary. Too often, former spouses take to popular social networking websites like Facebook to vent or complain about one another. Doing so can create a variety of legal headaches.

Getting divorced normally leads to a host of emotions. It is understandable that many divorcing spouses seek to discuss their situation and concerns with friends and loved ones. Still, making negative statements about your former spouse on the Internet or in another public forum may lead to legal troubles down the road. In 2010, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 81 percent of attorneys surveyed saw an increase in the use of online social media evidence in divorce cases over the previous five years. If in doubt, it is always best to take the high road and keep your grievances off of the Internet.

If you are in the midst of a divorce or separation, it is important to consider that what you write about your former spouse can potentially get you sued. Although you may express your opinions, you may not lie in order to impugn your former spouse’s reputation. For example, if you call your ex a deadbeat and allege that he or she has failed to meet child support obligations that were in fact met, you could be sued for libel. A former spouse may also not harass or stalk their ex using the Internet.

Whether or not any statements made online merit legal action, it is important for both former spouses to understand that ranting on social media websites may harm both your children and your divorce case. If your former spouse’s employer has access to the negative statements you made regarding your ex, it may have an effect on his or her job, and corresponding ability to meet financial support obligations. Additionally, family court judges rarely appreciate reading incendiary tweets, Facebook updates, or blog posts, and such behavior will likely be taken into account when child custody and alimony awards are determined.

If you are concerned about what your former spouse may say about you online, it might be a good idea to negotiate protections into your marriage settlement agreement or ask the judge to prohibit such behavior. For example, a family court judge recently issued a gag order in the divorce proceedings between former NFL star and Major League Baseball player Deion Sanders and his wife, Pilar, amidst allegations of nasty tweets. Finally, if either you or your former spouse have said negative things about one another online, the easiest way to undo at least some of the damage is to issue a simple apology.
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Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are increasingly playing a factor in Florida divorces. Most people have satisfied their curiosity about a former flame by looking them up online. More and more married individuals are going further, however, and developing online relationships. Anecdotal evidence suggests an increasing number of people are rekindling past relationships and ruining their marriages via social media outlets. Divorces over online behavior are reportedly occurring more regularly throughout the nation.

One woman who declined to be named stated she recently learned her seemingly wonderful marriage was in trouble after her husband left his Facebook page open one day. To her shock, he had developed an online relationship with several other women. She found herself both confused and embarrassed. The problem has allegedly become so commonplace, a website is actually devoted to cheating through Facebook.

According to founder Craig Gross, a barrage of cheating stories and emails are sent to the website on a daily basis. Gross stated he founded his webpage as a sort of online cheating support community. He said the website has documented several hundred cases of marital infidelity aided by the social media page.

Social media reportedly contributes to divorce in other ways as well. Another woman who wanted to remain anonymous filed for divorce after she learned her husband was posting both threatening and derogatory comments about her online. She stated she was not only shocked, but also sickened by the information her spouse shared through Facebook. A different woman claimed she learned her husband wanted to end their marriage only after he said it on the social media website.

With more than 900 million active monthly users, the use of Facebook has become common across the globe. Individuals may forget that everything they say online might later be used against them in a family law matter. For example, a spouse who claims he or she is unable to afford alimony or child support payments may be wise to avoid posting photos of a new luxury vehicle. It is important to note the information distributed through social media can also have an effect on child custody arrangements. If you are faced with an unexpected divorce or other stressful family law matter, you should contact a skilled Florida family law attorney as soon as possible.
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Social networks are changing the way that divorce attorneys in Broward conduct discovery in a case. Facebook and Myspace have become platforms where people open their lives, post pictures and have a conversation with one friend which is often read by many people. Individuals write their conversations and often talk about private matters. For lawyers, this has become an excellent source of evidence in a marital and family law case.

Other sources of electronic evidence include videos on YouTube, text messages, dating services, voice mail, cellphones, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and Sun Pass records. Discretion and privacy have been a generous revelation of secrets. While some often restrict who can see their social networking page, others find information by looking through a friends account.

While evidence of wrongdoing is generally unimportant in Florida, one of many no fault states, fault still plays a role in equitable distribution of assets and alimony. However, there are strict limits on what information can be taken, what information is private and what information can only be obtained through legal procedures such as subpoenas, depositions and discovery.

Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyers are using Facebook to find the ammunition they need to help their clients’ cases. Broward County lawyers love these sites because they are evidentiary gold mines. Fort Lauderdale marital and family law attorneys browse wall posts and atatus updates on Facebook to uncover information about the other party. Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn are also popular social networking sites which lawyers utilize to build their cases when representing divorce clients in Weston, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Plantation and other cities in Broward County.

Social networking sites are great for reconnecting, but when couples are disconnecting, the situation turns ugly. Battles over finances and custody are the two hot buttons during dissolution proceedings. Lawyers say it has become routine for them to ask their clients if they have an active presence on these social networking websites. If so, the lawyers then scour their client’s pages and the pages of their girlfriends or boyfriends to find anything that could be used by their ex’s legal team.

Did your husband’s new girlfriend Twitter about a piece of jewelry he bought her? A court might regard this as marital assets being disbursed to a third party. Did your wife tell the court she is incapable of getting a job, but you found her pursuing job interviews on LinkedIn? The court might refuse her alimony. Did your ex wife assure the court during a custody hearing that she had not been drinking, but her MySpace page has dated photos revealing otherwise? The court will regard her as an unfit mother.