Phone: 301-738-7770
Steven J. Gaba
Phone: 301-738-7770

Facebook a factor within many divorce cases

Social media has changed the way that many Americans stay connected with friends and family. The ability to share information, photos and more allows people to share a great deal of their lives with those they care about. However, Facebook and other social media sites can also become a problem for many Maryland spouses who are going through a divorce.

When most people consider Facebook and divorce, it is often in the form of an affair that begins through a connection either initiated or rekindled through social media. This is an issue for many couples, but is not the primary reason behind the inclusion of these accounts in a divorce proceeding. In reality, social media is brought into divorce cases largely over financial matters, and not as proof of adultery.

Take, for example, a spouse who claims that he or she is unable to afford the level of child support or alimony that his or her spouse is seeking. However, that individual's Facebook account is full of references to expensive outings and vacations, or photos of a new vehicle. This would make it difficult to argue in court that there are not sufficient funds to cover the cost of alimony or child support. The same can be said of instances in which a spouse has moved on to a new relationship prior to the divorce becoming final, and where it appears that a great deal of money is being spent on the new partner.

As with so many things in a Maryland divorce, the content of one's social media page can be construed a number of different ways. The best course of action is to avoid posting anything that could be brought up in court, no matter how seemingly inconsequential a comment or photo may be. Divorce is a relatively short process, and there will be plenty of time to share the details of one's life on Facebook once the process is complete.

Source: The Washington Times, "Facebook cited in a third of all divorce cases: 'It's like having a massive public noticeboard'", Cheryl K. Chumley, Jan. 21, 2015

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