What About Social Media, Cheating and Divorce?

It may not come as a surprise that social media, cheating and divorce are often linked with each other. Links Between Social Media Use and Divorce In 2014, CNBC discussed the results of a study published in the Journal Computers in Human Behavior. Researchers asked couples about marriage quality and social media use. They analyzed data using various models, and each model showed that there was a link between decreased marriage quality and social media use. Links Between Social Media and Cheating In November 2016, The Chicago Tribune published an article where a licensed psychotherapist and sociology professor both gave their expert opinions. Each said that social media made infidelity much easier — just a click away — and it even opened up the cheating playing field to people across the globe. Cheating Online Is Just as Devastating as In-Person Cheating Jaclyn Cravens is in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program at Texas Tech University. She conducted research that reviewed situations where clients in monogamous relationships discovered their partner had cheated. They found out their partners were exchanging sexually suggestive messages with someone online through a social networking site. The main site that came up was Facebook. The emotional impact was just as severe as if the partner had committed acts in-person. Anthony Weiner, a former politician, got caught several times cheating when he used Facebook and Twitter. As a result, he lost his marriage, his seat in Congress and his chances of becoming the Mayor of New York City. Some people are able to still work out their marriages when cheating occurs. But for many others, it’s the end...

Computers and Social Media Hacks

If you suspect your spouse is having an affair, can you guess at possible passwords until you access your spouse’s email or Facebook account? Or can you hire a young geek to hack into your spouse’s computer accounts for you? Despite the fact that the clues of your spouse’s affair are driving you crazy and you just have to know the whole truth, there are legal privacy boundaries you must not cross. While all seems fair in love and divorce battles, all is not. Hacking is a criminal offense that violates federal and Texas laws. Hacking Laws The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says in regards to hacking, “‘Unauthorized access’ entails … retrieving data from or otherwise intercepting and changing computer resources without consent.” Texas Law lists the following as a computer crime: “Knowingly accessing a computer, computer network or computer system without the consent of the owner.” It is also a computer crime to impersonate someone else without consent by creating a web page or leaving messages on a social networking site with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten someone. A Hacking Divorce and Criminal Case In 2011, the Huffington Post published an article about criminal charges filed against a Michigan man who suspected his wife of having an affair and hacked into her computer. The wife filed a criminal complaint for computer hacking when her emails turned up as evidence during the divorce. She claimed her husband didn’t have permission to access her personal computer, and yet he claimed he did because it was a family computer. CBS Detroit reported in 2012 that charges were dropped against Leon...

How Often Do Divorce Cases Use Social Media Communications as Evidence?

We all know that as time goes along, more and more people communicate by texting, emailing, posting on Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus and other social media networks. In 2010, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) warned there was a big surge in social networking evidence in court cases. A survey of divorce lawyers showed that during the span of the last five years, 81 percent saw an increase of social networking evidence, with Facebook unparalleled as the main source of evidence. It’s no wonder that a survey of couples in 2015 indicated that one in seven people argued with their spouse about social media use and even considered divorce over social media matters. If social media is fueling upsets and arguments that lead to divorce, it makes sense that it also serves as evidence in divorce cases. A divorce financial strategist pointed out in a Forbes Magazine article that social network and digital communications also affect divorce settlement negotiations. Even when you don’t know what your wife or husband is up to, mutual friends may tell you about a Facebook posting that shows your spouse just went on an expensive vacation with his or her new romantic interest or bought expensive gifts or other facts that influence property division. Promotions, extra work bonuses or other information posted on Linkedin or elsewhere on the internet often contradict financial statements submitted to the court. As your Texas divorce attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates, we look into social media when you’re considering a divorce. We advise you carefully about social media use and also can use it as evidence relevant to...

An Example of Social Media Evidence Used in an Actual Custody Case

Social media evidence has been a contributing factor in changing the course of countless divorce and family law cases. Sometimes telling clients about an actual case is the best way to convince them to be wary of what they put on the internet. In the case B.M. (Mother) v. M.M. (Father), the mother had previously been awarded physical custody of the child. However, when the mother remarried and planned to move to Texas, the father filed motions for a temporary and permanent order to prevent relocation of the child and a request for ruling on a motion for the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). The court assigned a GAL to the case, and the GAL obtained evidence that the mother was posting information on MySpace relevant to the case that revealed her new marriage was unstable. She said her husband drank a lot and physically abused her. She sent photos of herself, including some semi-nude pictures to this man she was flirting with on MySpace. However, the “man” on MySpace was actually her son’s stepmother and the biological father’s wife, who was posing as a male. The GAL used the conversations as evidence in the case. In addition, the mother had lived with a number of men subsequent to breaking up with the child’s father and prior to her re-marriage. The court decided the father was the more stable of the two parents and awarded him physical custody of the child. When the mother appealed, the higher court ruled that the lower court’s finding was not in error. Courts always rule in the best interests of the...