December 30, 2015

Social Media Clauses in Divorce Cases Are Here to Stay

Florida Divorce and Social Media
We live in a digital age. More and more people become connected with one another through the social media platforms of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms. During the course of most marriages, individuals may post a significant number of photographs, information, information about themselves, and other information that they believe is significant regarding their lives, reputation, profession, and relationships. In addition, individuals are often using social media platforms to enhance their careers/professions and/or their businesses. As a result, it is not unusual to see individuals possessing a personal Facebook or Instagram account and having a separate Facebook and/or Instagram accounts for their businesses.

Florida Divorce and Social Media Clauses

When you divorce, you will be required to divide all the property you and your spouse have accumulated during the marriage. In many states, such as Florida, there is a presumption that the division will be an equal division. Your social media accounts are considered to be property and should be divided in your divorce. If you opened a social media account before or during your marriage and posted information on it during your marriage, then that posted information may be considered marital property and should be divided in your divorce. If you opened a social media account during your marriage, it is likely to be considered marital property and subject to division by the trial judge during your divorce. Because of these principles of division of marital and non‑marital property in divorce cases, you will want to be sure that your divorce judgment or divorce settlement agreement provides you ownership of all of your social media accounts (whether personal or business related) and the content in them.

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Please also note that Facebook now provides the ability to create legacy settings. In a legacy setting, an individual may nominate a person who will be in charge of his or her account after owner’s death. Most people who elect a legacy setting will select their spouse as the individual who will be in charge/owner of their account after their death. Although currently, Facebook may be the only social media platform with a legacy setting, other social media platforms are expected to develop their own legacy setting. Consequently, you need to examine your social media accounts after your divorce to make sure that you change your legacy settings.

Just as you would change the beneficiaries in your will or your insurance policies after your divorce, you should change your Facebook legacy or any other legacy designation on any other social media platform. If you fail to do so, then your children and/or subsequent spouse may not be able to have access to your account.

If your attorney does not raise these issues with you during a divorce case, then you should at least be discussing them with him or her. If social media played an important part in your life before your marriage and during your marriage, then it will continue to do so after your divorce. Consequently, being sure that you have retained ownership of these accounts and their contents and that the person whom will be in charge of your account subsequent to your death is not your ex-spouse, but instead is someone you trust.

 

Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney in West Palm Beach Charles D. Jamiesonunderstands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce or other family law matter, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.

 

 

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