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3 Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on April 10, 2024 in Family Law

Lombard, IL divorce attorneyA mistake commonly made among divorcing couples is posting about their divorce on social media. Many things you say online can be used as evidence against you in court, and it is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney before discussing your divorce, or marriage, on social media.

This article will discuss three ways social media can impact your divorce in Illinois.

Parenting Time

In Illinois, “parenting time” refers to the time that a parent spends with the child during which he or she is responsible for the child’s care. By default, Illinois law prefers to split parenting time evenly between the mother and father. If either parent disputes this arrangement, however, the court will look at many factors when deciding who should be awarded more parenting time. Some of these factors include:

  • The physical and mental health of both parents

  • The willingness of each parent to place the child’s needs above his or her own

  • Any factors that may affect the child’s mental or physical well-being

  • Each parent’s relationship with the child

The court will also pay attention to any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse by either parent. If you post photos on Facebook of your night out partying, for example, your ex may use it to paint a picture for the judge of an unfit parent. Posting hateful or crude messages to a WhatsApp group can also be used to depict you as a dangerous influence on the child.

Asset Division

Before deciding how to divide assets between two divorcing parties, a court will ask both sides to submit a financial disclosure. This document declares the assets, liabilities, and expenses of each side and is signed by that party. Hiding assets or making false claims on the disclosure can be a serious offense.

Say, for example, that one party posts a photo to Instagram in which he or she is lying by a pool with the caption “Chilling in my Florida home.” If that house was not disclosed to the court, that spouse can face criminal charges for perjury and/or fraud. Additionally, if a settlement was already agreed upon by the parties, it can be invalidated if the court finds that the Florida home was hidden from the disclosure. Likewise, if a spouse appears to be living large before a divorce, but the financial disclosure indicates that the spouse does not have much money, a court may question whether the spouse has been honest on the financial disclosure. 

Family Maintenance

Family maintenance payments such as alimony and child support are also hot-button issues in a divorce. While courts look at many elements in determining how much family maintenance each side has to pay, a person’s income is one of the biggest factors.

So, if one spouse were to post on social media about buying a brand new car or getting a promotion at work, it may be used by the other side to ask the court to modify alimony or child support payments.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Lombard, IL Family Lawyer

Social media is a public space and content you post there can be seen and used against you in court. If you are going through a divorce, it is best to consult with a Naperville, Illinois family law attorney about what to avoid posting. Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices is a law firm with over 175 years of combined experience in family law. Call us for a free consultation at 630-932-9100.

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