If you have ever been through a divorce or you’re currently married in a legal sense but you’re living apart and separated, chances are you understand that a marriage is over long before the documentation is signed and recorded by the family court. Emotions don’t run on schedules, and emotions tend to tell us when we need to move on with our lives whether we want to admit that or not. When we check out of a marriage emotionally, some of us have taken steps to begin the next phase of our lives. While this is healthy in certain respects, it can also lead to serious problems if the wrong steps are taken at the wrong times.
One of those potentially wrong steps involves signing up for online dating Web sites. Even though someone may have moved on from a marriage in a very real and personal sense, the things that are done on those Web sites can be discovered and used as evidence if a divorce is adversarial in nature. This evidence could lead to problems when it comes to issues such as the custody of any children of that marriage.
Recently, a survey was sent out to members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, or the AAML. The survey included questions regarding the relevance of dating Web sites and online evidence. Nearly 60 percent of the divorce lawyers who responded to this survey stated that within the last three years, they have noticed an uptick in the number of cases where evidence was taken from an online source.
Those that saw such an increase also stated Match.com was a particularly prevalent source of evidence. 64 percent of the attorneys who fell into this category had seen evidence taken from this dating Web site. Generally speaking, the particular type of evidence that was used involved dishonesty with regards to a person’s relationship status, dishonesty with regards to occupation or salary and a graying of the facts regarding parental status.
Most people understand that stretching the truth happens all the time on dating Web sites. People have even been known to use either old photos or photos that are of someone else in order to attract more interest from potential dating partners. While this is its own issue that can carry significant consequences, it can be a serious problem for someone who is not technically divorced.
Most divorce lawyers will tell you that if you are still working through a divorce where certain issues are being contested that you should simply avoid dating Web sites until the case is complete. You should seek specific advice from a lawyer before doing anything online that could be used as evidence later on in the legal process. If you are dealing with a divorce or your marriage is about to end, you need to make sure that your rights are protected. Contact the San Diego divorce lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.