Risks of Deleting Facebook During a Divorce

During a divorce, many spouses need every advantage possible to seek the best outcome when either litigating or attempting to acquire more support or custody of children. The risks of deleting a Facebook account could stop or start other complications with the process and any parties involved such as friends or someone a spouse is dating.

In the divorce process, one party may use the other’s social media websites against him or her. However, keeping the site open and active could provide the legal team with the important evidence against the other party. Some spouses will post information on the site without any heed to what the other spouse could do with the details. If the person posts pictures that are harmful to custody battles or that expose special interests such as additional assets or property, this is significant to the spouse using the Facebook profile against the other spouse. The lawyer hired for the divorce may explain why keeping the site active is important.

Evidence on Facebook

Facebook is one of the top social media websites that Americans use across the country. With this website, citizens will post messages, keep chat open, post pictures and provide video of various situations that occur. Through using the information on the site, one spouse could prove that the other is engaging in activity that is harmful to the divorce procedure. This could include pictures of illegal activity or immoral actions. Messages about having an affair or leaving kids with inappropriate guardians are important to custody battles. One spouse should consult a lawyer before deleting the Facebook account as there are potential risks of legal issues when evidence exists.

The Facebook History

Another reason the spouses should not delete a Facebook account is that it is subject to the discovery process in the divorce. The lawyer will want access and details from the site to consider certain matters. The opposing lawyer will also check the site to use it against the spouse. He or she will look for issues that prove the individual is an unfit parent if he or she cheated on the other spouse and if there are negative comments about or towards the husband or wife. Confessions about faults, weaknesses and failures are also ammo against him or her in the divorce.

Records on Facebook usually are available from the point the account was originally created. If the person kept the account from before difficulties in the marriage started, it could contain many facts and opinions that led to the dispute between partners. Additional problems may arise through deceit or immoral actions of one of the spouses. Other matters may explain how the person is unfit to receive primary or sole custody of children. The lawyer will explain to his or her client what to expect with the social media evidence and how it may help or hurt the case.

Restoration of the Account

Facebook may receive contact from one party to restore the account. While this could happen, if the person is the account holder, it is possible to reacquire the information from the account prior to the deletion. This could include all content or some content. Facebook will only complete this action through a valid law enforcement request. This could mean that the other spouse is not able to restore his or her account without the lawyer helping through the matter. It is better to wait until the legal professional explains that the account is no longer necessary.

The Comments of Others

The opposing legal counsel may force a spouse to keep a Facebook account open until the discovery process ends. The risk of deleting the account before the lawyer is done with the information could run the risk of penalties. However, the comments others make about pictures or certain situations could harm or help the person’s case. The more others give details about various life circumstances, the more the lawyers are able to use these comments for or against the individual. Sometimes, friends are able to corroborate the actions and stories of others simply by posting a single message. This could prove one spouse did not have an affair or engage in activities the other spouse alleges.

The Lawyer for Facebook Accounts in Divorce

Hiring a lawyer for divorce is generally necessary, but in the age of electronics, the legal professional should have a background in social media and the internet. With a lawyer that understands how to use Facebook, the case may gain strength.

Provided by HG.org