Samantha’s practice concentrates on family law exclusively. As an experienced divorce attorney, Samantha understands all aspects of matrimonial litigation and negotiation. She has extensive experience dealing with complex family law matters such...Read More by Author
I have texts and Facebook posts that prove my spouse is cheating. Does this get admitted in my divorce case?
In a previous blog we posted about a spouses cheating and whether it’s a crime to spy on them. Following up with that post:
On many occasions clients have wanted to know if the texts they have or the emails or Facebook posts depicting affairs or obscene behavior of their spouse will help them with their divorces or custody cases. If the information that you gathered is legally acquired it very well may be used as evidence. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, like most states, a divorce can be filed as ‘no fault’ which means that the affair will not have a significant impact on the outcome of one’s case. However, distasteful behavior could potentially impact custody, and may be considered in equitable distribution (how one’s assets are divided) or support matters. For example, if a spouse has spent a considerable amount of money on affairs then an argument can be made that you should be repaid for all of the money that was spent on all of the ‘non-marital expenses’. A parent’s status posts on Facebook could be used against him/her in a custody battle. Photographs of substance abuse, drugs, alcohol, romantic relationships or lack of supervision of a child may lead to arguments that one is unfit to parent a child. Posts depicting dating or living with a new partner could lead to potential arguments that one is an unfit parent or could impact a support matter. Depicting a lavish lifestyle could also expose one’s true financial circumstances.
These examples are just some of the things that many people are posting or emailing without considering who may have access to it. Judges have been admitting legally acquired Facebook posts, texts and emails into evidence and may find them relevant to their decisions.
Everyone should be mindful of what they are posting and who may be seeing them because they can and may be used against you. Thus, I often tell my clients to limit their activity on social media. However, social media sites are also a great potential source of valuable information to use against your spouse.
# # #