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Wheaton divorce attorneysWe all know at least a few people who spend a great deal of time posting pictures and details of their lives to Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes, the appeal of posting on social media is so strong that it can cause a person to lose focus on the events happening in real life around him or her. Most people, of course, are able to use social networking sites reasonably to share photos and updates with distant friends and family, allowing them to stay in touch more quickly and directly than ever before. There are, however, some dangers associated with the use of social media, particularly for those who are in the midst of a divorce or other legal action. It is important to remember that anything you post could end up presented as evidence in court.

Conflicting Messages

While the use of social networking sites does not require ink and paper, posts and shared information are often treated as written documents. Emails and text messages, as you may be aware, can be subpoenaed to refute claims that you have made in your divorce filings. Similarly, screenshots of information that you have posted could also be used in an effort to discredit your testimony. For example, if you have told the court that you are not currently employed, but your LinkedIn profile says that you have been working for a friend’s company—possibly off the books—there are going to be questions raised.

Such questions could also be the result of photos and experiences that you share on Facebook. You may think that the pictures of your trip to the Bahamas were hidden from your soon-to-be ex because of your privacy settings, but a mutual friend could have shown them to your spouse. If you have been claiming that you have no money for basic expenses, alleged evidence of an expensive vacation could be difficult for you to explain, even if someone else paid for it.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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DuPage County family law attorneySocial media networks present unique dangers to your divorce and child allocation proceedings. In criminal or personal injury cases, clients are often advised to make their profiles private so that investigators or insurance companies cannot see their posts or profiles. In divorce and child allocation actions, making your social media private may not be enough of a protective measure because there is a greater likelihood that your account is connected with other people involved in your case, including friends and family members.

Taking Precautions

When you are involved in a divorce-related legal matter, consider adjusting the privacy settings of your social media accounts. In addition to making your profile private, you may also wish to limit your posting to social media. You should keep in mind that anything you post to social media could eventually be presented in your family law proceedings. Common examples may include:

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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