Digital Divorce

Digital Divorce

A Guide for Social Media & Digital Communications in Divorce

Attorneys agree that what happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media. In fact, popular networking sites are now routinely cited in divorce cases. The same goes for text messages, emails, and other digital communications. What you “share” online – posts, texts, chats, emails, photos – may also be shared in the courtroom.

Intro to Digital Divorce

In the course of a day, how many texts do you send? How many posts, comments, or check-ins on Facebook? How many emails sent or snaps shared? How many tweets and Instagram photos posted?

For many of us, we share a large part of our daily lives through our online activities and digital communications:

Text messaging users send or receive an average of 41.5 messages per day

Social media accounts for 18% of time spent online

The average American spends 40 minutes a day on their Facebook feed

So it’s not surprising that our use of social media and online/digital communications has forever altered the way people meet, fall in love, and divorce.

In family law, this is no longer a trend; it’s a fact of life. According to recent surveys of American Academy of Matrimonial Law (AAML) attorneys about divorce cases:

  • 99% say text messages are increasingly used as evidence
  • 97% have seen a dramatic increase in evidence obtained from smartphones
  • 81% have used or encountered evidence obtained from social media

And that’s not all — social media use also contributes to jealousy, trouble or uneasiness in marital relationships and one in three divorces can now be attributed to online affairs.

In this guide, we will cover:

  • How social media and digital communications affect relationships and marriages
  • How and what evidence taken from social media and digital communications can be used in a divorce or child custody/support proceeding
  • How to behave properly and protect oneself online, especially if you are getting or about to get divorced
  • How to protect your privacy online during a divorce

About the Author

Mindy Stannard, Associate

Mindy Stannard is a family law attorney at McKinley Irvin practicing in both Oregon and Washington State. She’s rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell and is listed in 2015 Oregon Super Lawyers. She is also a frequent speaker on divorce issues in the Portland area.

You can find Mindy at:

  • Best Seattle Divorce Lawyer