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What role dies Facebook play in property division?

Many Illinois spouses believe that their social media has nothing to do with their divorce. In reality, however, Facebook and other social media sites are becoming a commonly tapped source of information for divorce attorneys. Even property division can be directly impacted by Facebook. 

Perhaps the biggest way that Facebook factors into divorce is related to infidelity. Many affairs begin with a simple message to an old flame, or someone who played a role in one's past. Facebook offers the chance to gain a peek into the lives of people who would otherwise be firmly part of one's past. For far too many people, the ability to reach out and reconnect is just too tempting to ignore. An affair is often the end result, even if that was never the intent. 

A divorce court is unlikely to care about infidelity. However, if marital funds were used to support the affair, that is very likely to pose a problem in regard to property division. A spouse can make a strong argument that he or she is entitled to a greater share of marital wealth because a portion of those funds were used to pay for one or more acts of infidelity. 

Matters become even more complicated if significant amounts of money were used to buy gifts, pay for travel or book hotel rooms as part of an extramarital affair. Many people are shocked to learn that Facebook tracks not only what is posted, but also messages, location data and photos or comments posted by others. For Illinois spouses who are preparing to divorce and engage in property division negotiations, avoiding social media altogether is the best course of action. 

Source: Time, "Divorce Lawyer: Facebook Is a Cheating Machine", James Sexton, March 26, 2018

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