Many Florida couples are looking for a way to end their marriage without engaging in the conflict and contention that so often defines the divorce process. In such cases, collaborative law offers a path that can make a high asset divorce far less stressful and expensive. When preparing for a collaborative divorce, it is important for spouses to recall the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” especially when it comes to their use of social media.

A certain number of couples who begin their divorce using collaborative methods will eventually move toward less cooperative tactics. In such cases, the content of one’s Facebook or other social media accounts can become part of the divorce case. For example, a spouse who argues that she cannot afford to pay a certain level of spousal support might have difficulty convincing the court if her Facebook page is full of photos of her enjoying lavish vacations and driving a luxury car.

Facebook can come into play in child custody matters, as well. Imagine a parent who is trying to gain a greater share of parenting time, but whose Facebook page is rife with references to drugs and excessive drinking. Courts are unlikely to look favorably upon a parent who displays blatant and public acts of poor decision-making. In the most extreme cases, parents can lose their access to their children if evidence obtained from social media accounts suggests that these choices are being made during times that the parent has the child or children in his or her care.

Florida spouses who are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce should be applauded for their desire to end their marriage in a manner that is civil. At the same time, they would also be well-advised to suspend their social media use and/or edit the contents of their accounts to reflect the same impression that they would want to make in a court of law. In the best outcomes, these preventative measures will never need to be called into action. In those cases in which collaboration fails during a high asset divorce, having those protections can make a world of difference.  

Source: callawyer.com, “The State of Facebook and Family Law”, Chandra Moss, April 5, 2016