Aside from social media postings, people should be exceedingly cautious about what they email or text the other spouse. These are written messages that may be admitted into evidence in court. Once these communications are sent, they can be saved and utilized as evidence to establish anything or to impeach claims made by the spouse during trial weeks or months later. Few things are more harmful in a court of law than two contradictory declarations delivered by the same person.
Social media is a peek into your life
Even if your soon-to-be ex-spouse has blocked you from social media, mutual friends may be able to see how you spend your time and money. Of course, this is true for both parties. If your estranged spouse is now taking lavish vacations or has recently purchased a new car, this could provide insight into their financial well-being. Consider the implications of this knowledge: This provided information via an online profile or account could indicate that they have a hidden bank account or that they have recently received a raise at work.
In addition, individuals can seek career opportunities on Linkedin and other social media platforms. It offers individuals an online resume. When divorcing couples separate, the other spouse may have found a better-paying job. This will certainly have an impact on the amount of child support or spousal support that the spouse is required to pay. Furthermore, most custody orders are partly influenced by a parent’s availability. Suppose a parent has a new job that necessitates travel or working long hours at home. In that case, it may be utilized in a custody hearing to demonstrate that the spouse is unavailable during periods that may affect the overall custody order.
It’s best to avoid unbecoming behavior
Individuals often cannot resist the urge to write unpleasant things about the other spouse. For example, suppose one spouse posts an activity they undertook on Facebook. In that case, the other spouse may feel jealous or overly emotional and respond with a critical comment or a post of their own. Being harsh and unpleasant toward the other spouse during the divorce can be incredibly detrimental. When creating a child custody order, a judge will always pay close attention to how the parents treat each other. Judges seek to ensure that the relationship between parents does not result in hostility between the parents in front of the child or children. Disparaging social media remarks can produce evidence that can be utilized against the parent who made the comments.
Be mindful of community waste
Because Arizona is a community property state, assets acquired by you and your ex are assumed to be jointly owned and therefore will be divided evenly. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is where the court inquiry starts. The court has the discretion to reduce the amount of property you are allocated based on whether you committed marital waste of the jointly held property. Marital waste is exactly what it sounds like: the wasting (squandering) of property that belongs to both you and your ex. The law [A.R.S. 25-318(C)] states that waste is “excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community property”. Examples include gambling, withdrawing from a retirement account, funding an addiction, and spending money towards an extra-marital affair.
Thankfully, every expenditure isn’t likely to be heavily scrutinized unless it involves significant waste. A Saturday night out to dinner is probably not going to be a big concern. On the other hand, maxing out joint credit cards and spending lavishly during the separation tips the scales toward being considered marital waste.
Contact Stewart Law Group in Arizona
Stewart Law group understands that divorce is a difficult process that must be handled with care and respect for your objectives and your family dynamic. We aren’t here to simply draft and file paperwork; we help you navigate one of the most difficult periods of your life and prepare for a new beginning. Feel free to reach out by calling 602-548-3400 or filling out a case evaluation form to discuss your legal options.