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Social Media and Electronic Data Becoming More Prevalent in Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneyAlthough changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act removed the factor of fault from divorce, social media may still be used as evidence. It can be used to determine if a spouse is hiding assets in a high net worth divorce. It may be used as a factor in the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time rulings. It may even make an appearance in divorce cases involving spousal support or child support. Yes, social media is becoming prevalent in divorces, and in many ways, it makes the investigation into a spouse’s background far easier than it used to be.

Divorce Investigation Before Social Media

Once upon a time, spouses and investigators had to rely on instinct and information they could gather on their own to expose acts of deceit. They had to hope information got thrown away or left out instead of locked into a cabinet. Some even went so far as to follow around one spouse or the other, taking photographs to document the subject’s actions. There would be mining of data that could be legally obtained, such as deposits and withdrawals from a joint bank account. Yet much of the pertinent information remained difficult or sometimes impossible to access. That was before social media, text messages, and other forms of digital evidence became so easy to legally obtain and/or accidentally discover.

Why Investigate a Spouse?

There have always been those who try to hide their activities from soon-to-be ex-spouses or the courts – a promotion on the horizon, a yacht in someone else’s name, for example. Of course, since fault is no longer a factor in divorce, many of the reasons that spouses might have investigated one another no longer matter for anything other than personal reasons. It is those that are related to finances, character, personality, and decision-making that tend to find their way into courtrooms these days.

In one case, an unemployed father claimed to have been acting as “Mr. Mom” to his children. His computer revealed a different story – one in which he spent his days racking up gambling debts and watching adult content. If, during his case, he attempted to use his status as a stay-at-home dad to get spousal support from his wife or to obtain more parenting time or parental responsibilities, such evidence could easily be used against him.

Protecting Your Interests in Divorce

When planning on filing for divorce, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer to ensure your interests and privacy are protected. Contact our offices to discuss your case with a member of our team. Call 630-352-2240 and schedule a confidential consultation at Pesce Law Group, P.C. today.

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/divorce-electronic-data.html

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