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Social Media Pitfalls In A Contested Divorce

In the state of Arizona, a contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot mutually agree on the terms of the dissolution of their marriage. The most common issues of contention in a divorce are generally child custody, child support, and division of marital assets. In such a situation both parties retain independent counsel and battle it out in family court with a judge having the final say on any and all contentious issues.

No Fault Divorce In Arizona

The divorce statute in Arizona requires both parties to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken whereby the court conducts a hearing to see if the parties can be reconciled. In that hearing if both parties agree to proceed with the divorce, the court usually grants the divorce. However, if one party objects, the court may call for a conciliation conference.

Common Fault Grounds For Divorce In Arizona

In the past, a reason was required to proceed with a divorce such as undue cruelty or infidelity. No fault divorces were introduced so that parties do not have to allege a reason in order to separate. In the case of a contested divorce, fault may be cited in order to gain an advantage in custody proceedings or division of marital assets. The fault grounds for divorce laid out in Arizona Statutes are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Abandonment
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Separation for at least 2 years without reconciliation

Perils of Using Social Media During a Divorce

Increase in the use of social media has made divorce proceedings far more complicated nowadays.  Technologies like the Cloud and other wireless storage ensures that your private data may not be as private as you think. Saving private photos, videos and documents to your phone doesn’t restrict access to your data either especially if your phone is connected to the Cloud. Viewing the private documents of another person constitutes an invasion of privacy, however, in a contested divorce scenario, if your spouse has access to your private data, it could be severely detrimental to your interests in the case. People are generally unaware that legally shareable information also includes internet web browsing history. Infidelity or adultery has often been proved by incriminating texts or emails. If your spouse has access to your Facebook and other social media accounts, they will be investigating to find any post which might further their motives in a contested divorce.

Social media along with other forms of communication such as text, GPS, email and internet search history can provide your spouse’s attorney with potentially damaging evidence. Oftentimes, innocuous posts on social media sites are misconstrued or are presented in such a manner by your spouse that you are portrayed in an unfavorable light to the family court judge. An increasing number of people are posting every single occurrence in their lives on Facebook and similar sites. According to studies, Facebook and social media are the main cause of one-third of all divorces. Beware when using social media especially if you are going through a contested divorce in Arizona.

Moreover it is recommended that you retain the services of an experienced Divorce lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible to help you navigate through this complex process.

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