Can Technology Impact Divorce Cases?
As we’ve discussed, technology has made its way into divorce courts as it’s become a part of everyday life. In a recent blog post, we discussed an Arizona lawmaker’s attempt to block her soon-to-be ex-husband’s attempt to obtain text message records. She claimed that this was part of an effort to damage her credibility.
In a similar but more public way, social media can impact divorce proceedings. When caught up in emotion, some people may turn to Twitter or Facebook in order to make disparaging comments about their spouse during divorce proceedings. Unlike text messages, social media services are often a public platform. In turn, messages could be spread to thousands of people instantaneously. Of course, it’s important to examine how these communications fit into divorce.
As we’ve previously indicated, Arizona’s no-fault divorce laws do not require couples to provide a specific reason for divorce. Even though a person may want to say embarrassing things about his or her spouse on Facebook, that information — true or not — generally wouldn’t have an impact on property division.
Prenuptial Agreements: Social Media Clauses
On the other hand, these comments could impact claims for child custody. As such, couples may want to provide insurance against off-hand comments made in the heat of the moment. Reports indicate that some couples have turned to “social media clauses” in prenuptial agreements to fill this role. The terms of the clauses in prenuptial agreements could prevent both spouses from making remarks about the divorce on social media. In fact, some people have agreed to financial penalties for each Facebook post or tweet sent through the Internet.
It’s understandable that emotions run high during a divorce, and some people might say or do things that they regret later. However, a prenuptial agreement can be seen as a form of insurance, and not just in terms of social media content. While couples are thinking in a level-headed way, they can lay out the terms of divorce in order to prevent proceedings from turning too negative.
Complex Tech, “Today’s Prenups Now Come With A ‘No Twitter’ Clause,” Gayana Sarkisova, June 23, 2014