Don’t Let Your Activity on Dating Websites Derail Your Divorce
It’s common knowledge that your activity on social media can become a huge obstacle during your divorce, but many people don’t consider the potential complications that dating websites can cause. Post-divorce dating can be an exciting thing, but what you publish on the internet about yourself can often cause legal problems. Here is one man’s story and a true testament to why online dating with caution more important than ever.
Dating after divorce can be exciting, and terrifying, and is often a milestone moment signifying that you are finally ready to move on with your life. When and how you re-enter the dating scene is up to you. But if your dating plans include setting up a profile on a dating website or app, here’s why, as a divorce attorney, I recommend that you proceed with extreme caution — or better yet — keep your dating life offline altogether. As many have learned the hard way, oversights and over-exaggerations on dating profiles can be an easy set up for post-divorce legal headaches.
Marcos’s experience is an unfortunate example of how dating profiles can lead to divorce disaster. As his divorce was coming to a close, Marcos decided to stick his toe back in the dating waters by setting up an account on a popular online dating site. It had been over a decade since Marcos had been “out there,” so curious about the competition, he began clicking through different profiles…and immediately felt intimidated. How did all these 40something guys have so much hair? And sports cars and huge houses…and since when did so many guys skydive?
Marcos was eager to move on from his painful split, so he made a decision. Would it really matter if he fudged a little on his profile and checked off a higher income bracket? He needed some impressive photos too, like all the other guys, so he splurged on new clothes, a new motorcycle…and some hair plugs…using money he had secretly stashed with his buddies until his divorce had blown over. As he put the finishing touches on his profile, his cursor hovered over the drop-down menu that asked about number of children. Marcos had a son and daughter, but he was lonely and didn’t want include anything that might turn off potential daters, so Marcos clicked 0, and then hit publish.
Almost immediately, Marcos started getting messages from interested dating partners. He was flattered to see how many times his profile was being checked out.
But when his phone rang one morning, it wasn’t his date from the previous evening calling to tell him what a good time she’d had. It was his divorce attorney calling to let him know that his soon-to-be ex-wife had sent screen shots of his entire dating profile to her attorney. She was outraged by the flaunting of wealth and the denial of having children, and had ripped up the divorce papers they were so close to signing. Instead, she was coming after him for increased alimony, a demand to audit for hidden assets, and decreased parenting time for Marcos with his “0” kids. A court date to present the dating site evidence to the judge had already been scheduled.