We live in an age of oversharing, where every aspect of our lives is documented and available for the world to see across any number of social media platforms.
And while social media has done a lot of good, it can also cause a lot of harm and heartache, especially as it relates to divorce and custody cases.
For better or worse, what you or others share on social media can be used either for or against you.
As the popularity of social media continues to rise, we tend to find ourselves living more of our lives online, posting comments and pictures in the hopes of receiving praise in the form of “likes” from our peers. It’s easy to get caught up in the social media game, but in doing so we often forget that the internet has a long memory and that seemingly innocent picture of your recent island vacation or a post about a casual drink with friends could easily be taken out of context and used against you in the case of a legal child custody or divorce battle.
In general, it’s a good idea to be careful what you post online, but this becomes even more imperative when a court case or legal dispute is thrown into the mix. In these situations it’s best to keep a low profile online, but you should not delete, alter, disable, or otherwise make changes to your social media accounts as they must be preserved as potential evidence.
Flaunting a Flashy Lifestyle
When in the midst of a financial or child support dispute, it’s especially important to avoid flaunting flashy new purchases, lavish vacations, or fancy dinners. Even if someone else is footing the bill, these types of posts and photos can be detrimental to your case.
Dating Profiles or Other Signs Pointing to Infidelity
While getting back in the dating pool may be just what the doctor ordered to help heal the wounds of a painful breakup, its best to avoid any form of dating (regardless of how innocent it may seem to you) until your divorce has been finalized. This means you should steer away from creating online dating profiles, posting photos with new boyfriends or girlfriends, or even checking in to places that could be considered romantic with a member of the opposite sex. What may be an innocent business dinner with a female colleague at a nice restaurant could be viewed quite differently out of context.
Drugs, Alcohol, or Other Behaviors which could be Viewed as Inappropriate
Constantly posting about drinking or partying with friends is a definite no-no when fighting for custody of a child. Even if you know your occasional nights out on the town are handled responsibly, it’s far too easy to portray these types of posts in a different light, potentially making you look like an irresponsible parent. Any posts related to drug use or illegal activity are guaranteed to be detrimental to your case.
Negative Comments about the Legal Proceedings
Court cases can often be frustrating and you may feel like you’ve been treated unfairly by the legal system or the judge on your case. However, it’s important not to post about an ongoing case on social media. Sometimes this type of behavior could even violate a court order, which could lead to punishment for contempt of court.
Airing Dirty Laundry
While it can be tempting to vent about your spouse, the breakup, and your frustration with the legal battle to friends and family via social media, these types of conversations are best kept in private. Even posts that we think are only being seen by close friends can make their way into court.
This should go without saying, but posting, sharing, or sending nude photos or photos that could be considered sexual in nature or suggestive should be avoided at all costs.
In Need of Legal Counsel? – Reach out to us today
For those with social media presences, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to your social media in a divorce or other legal matter. As with any family dispute, a skilled attorney can greatly assist with protecting your interests.