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Could activity online jeopardize division of assets in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2018 | property division |

During a divorce, people often turn to online resources. Maybe they vent about an ex under a pseudonym on a website, post pictures on Instagram to invite supportive comments or seek companionship through a dating app.

However, it is crucial that you use caution if you decide to engage in these or other online activities. You could wind up adversely affecting elements of your divorce, including the division of your assets.

Contradicting statements you make in court documents

Imagine you are seeking spousal support. One of your friends suggests going on a vacation to alleviate some of the stress of the divorce, and it does help. At first. However, if the judge (or your ex) sees pictures of you relaxing on vacation, shopping and eating out at nice restaurants, it could give them cause to challenge your statements that you are financially disadvantaged.

Similarly, posting pictures of a new car or talking about a promotion at work could cause problems if you did not disclose those assets or earnings during your divorce.

Hurting your image in the eyes of the court

During a divorce, you should assume everything you do online can get back to the courts or your ex. If you are making threats, accusations and other unflattering statements online, those could come back to haunt you and paint a very different picture of your attitude and ambitions than what people see in court.

Affecting equitable distribution

Michigan property division laws dictate that property will be divided equitably, or fairly, in a divorce. Often, this means that each person will get about half of the marital estate, but this could change if there is evidence that that is not fair, including your activities online.

For instance, if you are already involved in a new relationship or visiting gambling sites, the courts or your soon-to-be ex might develop a very different opinion of what fair looks like. This could lead to contentious fights and uneven asset division.

Protecting yourself during divorce

Because mistakes online can have such a significant impact on the asset division process, it is wise to be especially mindful of what you do and say during divorce. Should you have specific questions about what you should or should not do, you can discuss them with your attorney.