Phoenix, AZ- Technology is transforming our lives with breakneck speed. Social media has become an increasingly important part of our daily routine. Many people own assets and property that exist only in the digital realm. There are a number of ways on which technology is transforming divorce, but here will we discuss the role social media can play in divorce proceedings and how digital assets are often ignored in divorce settlements.
Social media website like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram are a great way to share important events and thoughts with friends and family. When something happens in our lives, good or bad, it is often second nature to share those events with friends or family. While social media allows us to communicate and connect with others, these platforms can also be used to in divorce proceedings especially if one spouse uses these platforms to disparage their estranged spouse or if one spouse is hiding marital assets.
A 2009 study found that information shared on Facebook were factors in one out of five divorces U.S. divorces. Because the information posted on these site is considered a matter of public record, it can prove to be a treasure trove of damaging evidence in a contentious divorce, even information a person believes to be insignificant. A status update, a picture, a comment or updating relationship status can be used as evidence in a divorce case and can impact a child custody agreement, spousal support or other divorce-related issues.
Most divorce attorneys suggest their clients avoid posting too much personal information on social media platforms while they are in the midst of settling their divorce. They understand it is in the best interest of their clients to assure they receive a fair divorce settlement.
Another area where technology is transforming divorce is the issue of digital assets. An article appearing on the Dallas Bar Association website highlights the fact that many of these digital assets are forgotten or ignored in divorce settlement. They also note that a survey conducted by McAffee showed Americans value their digital assets at $55, 000.
Some digital assets such as photographs or videos have no actual monetary value, but mean a great deal to the divorcing parties. These assets can be easily copied and given to an estranged spouse. However, many married couples have assets that do have an actual dollar value and are considered to be marital assets.
Assets such as domain names, e-books, digital audio and video purchases, digital storage, online store fronts, blogs, reward points, and virtual currencies, like Bitcoins, have an actual dollar amount. Many of these assets can be considered marital property and should be included in divorce settlements. These assets, though they exist in the virtual, can be valued and divided accordingly.
Once you’ve decided to file for divorce, it’s critical you contact a divorce attorney as soon as you are able. With their help you can begin the monumental task of identifying marital assets, and begin drafting an acceptable divorce settlement.