Donna Dougherty Law P.C.

The impact of social media on property division

Social media assumes a whole new role when it comes to divorce. According to The Huffington Post, platforms like Facebook and Snapchat have generated a lot of suspicion between spouses, many of whom have regular arguments about photos, status and questionable activity. But the real question is how does social media affect divorce proceedings after a couple has separated?

Social media is quickly becoming a hotspot, attorneys say, as a place to find evidence to use in a divorce proceeding. Because Virginia is an equitable division state, marital property must be divided equally in a divorce. However, a judge will also assess each spouse’s individual property when deciding how to allocate the shared assets. Social media can affect both parties in a case, especially when one person is suspected of attempting to hide personal assets.

Forbes suggests that all online activity is fair game in the courtroom. This means both spouses’ social media activity could hurt their property division settlement. Even with passwords and hidden profiles, it is relatively easy for spouses to dig up information on the other. Ex-spouses might have posted pictures of a new large purchase, a recent trip or a new relationship. Many couples have a lot of the same friends, and it is not hard to spy on a spouse through a mutual friend's page.

It is also not uncommon for mutual friends to share potentially damaging information with one spouse that could be used against the other. Even if a particular post is not credible evidence on its own, it may provide a reason for the court to perform a second investigation.

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