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How the information age is impacting divorce

Many divorcees have learned the hard way that posting content online without thinking first can lead to trouble. While ill-advised emails or social media messages will rarely cause more than mild embarrassment for most people, they can be disastrous for those going through a divorce. Maryland spouses who maintain that they can't afford to pay alimony or child support may find it difficult to explain Facebook photographs of extravagant purchases or wild parties, and claims of fidelity may be received with skepticism when accounts have been opened with online dating sites.

Another problem with online content is that it can be very difficult to remove. Even deleted emails can linger in a recipient's inbox for months. Some spouses may post on social media carefully but believe that their email correspondence is safe and secure. However, this information could be subpoenaed by attorneys and used in court.

Divorcing spouses who wish to cover their tracks by removing compromising content or deleting their social media accounts may wish to think twice if legal proceedings have already been initiated. This could be seen by the courts as destroying evidence, and attorneys who encourage their clients to purge their online profiles may face sanctions.

Family law attorneys may scrutinize social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as business network platforms like LinkedIn to uncover evidence that their clients may have been misled. This kind of information could be particularly useful during property division or alimony negotiations. Attorneys could also use social media photographs depicting a hedonistic lifestyle as evidence during child custody or visitation negotiations.

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