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Social media information complicates high-asset divorce cases


A considerable number of divorces turn out messy whether they are in Virginia or California. When the split involves substantial assets and property and both parties have differing opinions about their disposal, things can get rough, especially between people who are no longer the best of friends.

Increasing numbers of couples now make their divorces and family matters more public by posting details on social media sites, whether it is merely the emotion of the moment or less-than-flattering assessments of a soon-to-be ex-spouse's character. Unfortunately, this is not only unwise but also can lead to legal complications when it comes down to a final agreement in a high-asset divorce.

Remember, social media means public viewing and nothing is ever really private. Consider the following:

Deleting a former spouse from a friends' list will not help much; he or she can probably still see postings by using a friend's portal to your social media site.

Writing hostile or uncomplimentary language about an ex can make matters even more complicated, especially if the ex's legal counsel sees it.

Shared information on such events as lavish vacations could backfire when it comes to asking for spousal support.

More than social media sites can trip people up. Remember that any financial information put online - credit card info, emails and applications for bank - exist forever in virtual space. That includes assets that one partner tries to hide. Forensic accountants and online experts are increasingly able to track down assets thought safely hidden.

Perhaps the best advice to avoid online troubles is to be civil.

Anyone contemplating divorce or a similar important decision concerning marital property is strongly advised to visit an attorney. An experienced professional can help explain legal matters, provide good advice and offer solutions that will best resolve issues involving assets and finances.

Source: The Huffington Post "The Divorce Mistakes You Don't Even Know You're Making," Taryn Hillin, Mar. 18, 2014

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