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Does your Facebook account contain information that may negatively impact your divorce?

A recent study released by the Pew Research Center revealed that 71 percent of U.S. adults now have a Facebook account. What's more use of the social media site has increased significantly among those Americans age 65 and older with 56 percent reporting to using a Facebook account.

There's no doubt that we live in a virtual world where people of all ages use social media websites like Facebook to reconnect and connect with old and new friends alike. For some individuals, Facebook becomes a sort of daily diary where comments and musings about both big and little life events are shared. Users of Facebook and other social media websites should, however, be careful what they share and post.

In cases where an individual is contemplating or going through a divorce, Facebook is readily used as a source of discovering information about a soon-to-be ex-spouse. From photographs that show a husband or wife out partying to postings boasting of a recent big-ticket purchase, much can be learned from perusing what an individual may believe are private comments and photos.

When it comes to the Internet, nothing is really private. This is especially true of information and photographs shared via social media sites like Facebook. In fact, even in cases where a spouse attempts to delete potentially incriminating photographs or comments, nothing is ever really gone. If necessary, comments and photos deleted from a Facebook account can later be "retrieved by forensic experts and used in court as evidence in divorce proceedings."

Tennessee residents who are going through a divorce would be wise to discuss with their attorney any information or photographs that they believe may affect or compromise matters related to a divorce settlement or child custody arrangement.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Facebook Divorce," April 3, 2015