Social Network Posting and Divorce Proceedings

Posted By Michael Rubenfeld || 8-Nov-2011

Facebook and other social networking sites help make it easier for people to keep in touch with other people and learn about each other's live. However, sharing certain information online may not be advantageous.

I am frequently surprised as a divorce lawyer about how little emphasis people place on the ramifications of their Facebook and other social media postings during a divorce or custody proceeding.

While a divorce or custody proceeding is pending, it is very important to be careful about the material that is posted on social networking sites. I have seen people post information including pictures and videos of themselves depicting behavior that is detrimental to their divorce or custody case. Not only may these posts irritate your spouse, but they are often used against litigants in court proceedings.

For example, in a recent divorce action in New York State, a wife sought lifetime spousal support from her husband, claiming that she was permanently disabled and therefore unable to work. However, the husband brought to the court's attention a series of blog postings by the wife in which she revealed that she spent several hours everyday dancing. The court decided that these admissions posted online by the wife about her dancing contradicted her claims that she is disabled and unable to work. The judge found that the wife's testimony was not credible and denied her request for lifetime maintenance.

Before you post information about yourself on a social networking site, think carefully about the ramifications of the information that you are sharing especially if you are involved in a contested divorce or child custody dispute.