Anyone may review social media contents posted online, even if a user changes his or her profile settings to “private.” During a divorce proceeding, friends and family may take screenshots of photos and then forward them to a soon-to-be ex-spouse. The images may serve as evidence when negotiating a divorce settlement.

For example, a recently purchased vehicle or home may still classify as marital property and remain subject to fair division under Illinois laws. As noted by SmartAsset, all property acquired while a couple is still married belongs to both spouses, which a divorce court judge divides fairly. Separate property, however, belongs to one spouse only.

Separate property is not subject to division

Illinois equitable distribution laws allow an individual to keep his or her own separate property. This may include a gift, an inheritance or assets acquired before a marriage. If a couple has signed a written agreement, however, assets acquired after a marriage may also classify as one spouse’s separate property.

Typically known as a postnuptial agreement, the document verifies a spouse’s intent that a home or other asset is separate property. As noted by U.S. News and World Report, a postnup may help a couple who already know they have a troubled marriage to protect each other. By agreeing to keep assets or income separate, a divorce may proceed more smoothly.

Images may help prove marital property rights

If a soon-to-be ex-spouse discovers social media posts of a lavish purchase, it may lead to a dispute over what represents marital property, even after a postnup. Although an individual may feel comfortable posting online images of purchases made with income earned outside of the marriage, it is usually wiser to practice discretion on social media.