The social media era has veered us into a brave new world of over-sharing our lives. With Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter at our fingertips, it is so easy to instantaneously transmit our words, photos, and videos to everyone we’ve ever known. Unfortunately, this access has also led to countless careers and lives ruined. Just look at James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director whose years-old vulgar Tweets cost him his job, or at swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose swimming career has possibly ended due to an Instagram he posted while receiving a prohibited IV treatment. The risks that are associated with social media also come into play when it comes to resolving the end of a marriage.
North Carolina Divorces are No-Fault
When couples divorce in North Carolina, they must do so through an “absolute divorce” which is essentially a no-fault divorce that is granted after a couple has been separated for a full year. So contrary to every courtroom television drama you’ve ever seen, when you seek a divorce in this state, there is no explosive trial filled with finger pointing and dramatic twists. However, there is one specific area where a spouse’s bad behavior can become an important issue: alimony.
Spousal Support Encompasses “Marital Misconduct”
When determining the amount and duration of an alimony award, a court can consider numerous statutory factors, which includes the marital misconduct of a spouse. This means that illicit conduct, infidelity, immoral acts, substance abuse, emotional abuse, and harassment may all be part of the equation in creating a high spousal support obligation or even completely eliminating a spousal support obligation.
When it comes to evidence of marital misconduct, social media activity is fair game so long as the party trying to admit it can properly authenticate it. What does this mean? It means that you should be cautious about your social media activity as anything you say can potentially be cast in a negative light against you. This means that jokes at your spouse’s expense, inappropriate jokes, spontaneous mean thoughts, harassing messages, or incriminating photos and videos are all incredibly bad ideas and can wind up costing you a lot of money. Our recommendation is to be cautious and thoughtful when it comes to your social media presence.
New Direction Family Law
If you are trying to resolve issues regarding property division, alimony, child custody, or child support, you need a family lawyer. At New Direction Family Law, we help provide you with advice and representation in these challenging matters. We want to see you succeed, and will work hard on your behalf. Our legal team proudly represents clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or reach us online through our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law