Divorce and technology: The good, the bad, the ugly

Facebook, Twitter, emails and new apps can play an important role in your divorce.

Technological advances impact every part of our lives. Our smartphones provide a constant connection to our loved ones, employers, friends and family members. We have access to apps that can help ease almost every aspect of our daily lives. In many cases, these advances are helpful. However, it is important we use these tools wisely. This is especially true for those who are going through a divorce.

Divorce and technology: The good.

Entrepreneurs have developed apps that can help those going through a divorce. Some examples include:

  • Online calendars. These are particularly useful for parents going through a divorce. An online calendar can provide parents the ability to keep track of their children's active schedules. This can make it easier for parents to get the kids to practices, meets, conferences and games.
  • Drop off and pick up management. Programs are also available that record the exchange of children. This can be helpful to monitor how drop off and pickups are going.
  • Finances. Other programs help keep track of spousal and child support payments as well as child expenses. This information can prove helpful in the event a modification is requested in the future.

The ability to use an app to aid in communication may help to better ensure an amicable split as it encourages simple, factual based communication.

Divorce and technology: The bad.

It is important to manage social media accounts wisely during divorce. Information posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social sharing site could potentially be used as evidence in a divorce case. A recent publication in the National Law Review notes attorneys find evidence from social networking in 81% of their divorce cases and 66% use Facebook as the primary evidence source. In some cases, the other party could even gain access to text message or email communications.

Divorce and technology: The ugly.

Battles during a contentious divorce can get ugly. Parties can dig into social media posts and attempt to access each other's accounts to find evidence to help build their case. There are even reports of parties to a divorce setting up fake accounts in an attempt to gain acceptance as a "friend" to access their future ex's account.

Although in most cases a judge will not admit fraudulently gained evidence, it remains important for those going through a divorce to use tech advances wisely. Do not post anything unless you are comfortable with it going before the judge. It is also important to note that states differ in how they choose to admit evidence, including information gathered from social media sites. As a result, it is wise to seek legal counsel experienced in your area to help mitigate the risk of surprises during your divorce.