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dads divorce lawyer infidelityThere are many reasons couples get divorced, and infidelity is high on the list. When one spouse has an extramarital affair, the other spouse may feel betrayed, and this could lead them to attempt to get revenge either before ending the marriage or during divorce proceedings. The strong emotions that these situations can evoke will often lead to increased levels of conflict between spouses, making it difficult to reach agreements during the divorce process. If infidelity is a factor in your divorce, you’ll want to be sure to understand your rights and determine how it may affect the decisions made in your case.

Filing for Divorce

Whether you plan to begin the process of ending your marriage by filing a petition for divorce or need to respond to your spouse’s divorce petition, you’ll want to determine whether infidelity should be addressed at this stage. While some states may allow spouses to cite fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, most states allow for no-fault divorce. In these cases, a divorce petition will simply state that the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences. While listing infidelity as a grounds for divorce may be possible in your state, it may be best to avoid laying the blame for your divorce in the initial filing or response, since this may help you avoid conflict later in the divorce process.

Addressing Infidelity During Divorce Proceedings

In many cases, an extramarital affair won’t play a direct role in the decisions made during a divorce. Typically, issues such as the division of marital property will be based on what is fair and equitable for both parties, and “marital misconduct” will not be a factor that is considered. However, some states do allow adultery or other forms of misconduct to be considered when making decisions about whether to award spousal support. An affair may affect the property division process if a spouse is accused of dissipating assets, or using marital funds or property for non-marital purposes.

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social media advice for DadsSocial media is pretty much inescapable these days. Whether you are sharing photos on Instagram, commenting on a friend’s posts on Facebook, retweeting jokes or memes, or liking videos on TikTok, you probably spend a good portion of every day interacting with others through phones or computers. This type of connection has arguably become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, since it gives people who are staying at home a chance to stay in touch with friends and family members that they can’t currently visit in person.

While you may be used to spending time on social media on a daily basis, you may need to change those habits if you are going through a divorce. As you work to resolve legal issues related to child custody, property division, and other aspects, you will want to be careful about what you say and do online. Here are a few tips to follow when using social media during the divorce process:

  1. Change your account passwords - You may have shared computers, tablets, or other devices with your spouse during your marriage, and this means that she may still have access to different social media accounts you have used. By updating your passwords, you can ensure that your ex cannot access your private information. You can also eliminate the possibility that she will attempt to harm your relationships or reputation by making inappropriate posts or comments in your name.
  2. Treat all messages as if they were public - Even if you make your accounts private or only communicate online with friends and family members you can trust, it is possible that any messages you send or information you share could be made public. A mutual friend could pass along your posts to your spouse, or private messages could accidentally be shared in a variety of ways. While your divorce is ongoing, it is best to avoid sharing or posting anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse (or her attorney) to see.
  3. Don’t share information that could be used against you - Even if you normally share details about your life online, you should be very careful about doing so during your divorce. Posts that you think are harmless could be taken out of context and used as evidence in court. For example, a picture of you holding an alcoholic drink at a party could be used to argue that you have a drinking problem and that your parenting time with your children should be restricted. 
  4. Save your complaints for offline - You may be angry about the end of your marriage, but venting about your spouse, your relationship problems, or the divorce process on social media is usually not a good idea. Getting through your divorce will require you to cooperate and compromise with your spouse, and she will be less likely to want to work with you if you have made disparaging public comments about her. When reaching agreements about child custody, you will need to show that you can work together with your ex to provide for your children’s best interests. Angry online comments could be used as evidence that you will be unable to cooperate, and this could have a negative impact on child custody decisions.

Ask Your Attorney About Any Concerns

While you can control how you use social media, you may find that your spouse or other family members who are involved in your lives are acting inappropriately in ways that affect you or your children. In these cases, you can consult with a divorce lawyer to learn what steps you can take. Your attorney can make sure your rights are protected during the divorce process, and they can help you reach an outcome to your case that will allow you to move forward with your life and be a great father to your kids.

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