Online dating information being used in divorce court hearings

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Monday, March 25, 2013.

When setting up an online dating profile many Illinois residents may be tempted to lie. Not necessarily to deceive anyone, but to increase their chances of getting dates. However, while the practice of being dishonest from the very start is certainly questionable, for those who are going through a divorce, lying on an online dating profile can end up being used against them in court.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 59 percent have seen an increase in evidence from online dating sites being used during a divorce hearing in court. In looking at the breakdown, 57 percent saw relationship status being used in court, while 15 percent saw salary and occupation. Another 7 percent saw the online parental status being submitted as evidence.

To see how this could play out in court, let’s say a father is going through a divorce. Interested in meeting someone new, he creates an online dating profile. Fearful that putting he is separated and a father will deter his chances of meeting other women, he instead claims he is single and has no children.

If his estranged wife sees this information, she could end up deciding to enter this into evidence to try and show his untrustworthiness and lack of commitment to his children. If this father was in the process of trying to receive shared custody, it is not a far stretch for his ex to point to his online parental status as proof that he does not really want his children.

Outside of the potential for evidence to be used against an ex-spouse in court, also keep in mind that online dating while not legally divorced yet also opens up the possibility of jealousy to start to take hold. This jealousy can lead to an even more contentious divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce And Online Dating: A Match Made In Court?” Alton Abramowitz,” March 9, 2013

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