February 9, 2015
Posting and Tweeting: The Intersection between Social Media and Divorce
In today’s world, it is rare to find someone who does not have a presence on social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or all of the above, plus others. It’s a phenomenon that spans all generations, from kids to grandparents. Like any technology, it is a double edge sword; it allows people to stay in contact, but there is a slippery slope to oversharing and flirting with disaster.
Social media has become an important tool for lawyers and investigators. The Huffington Post and other news sources have published articles about the causal connection between Facebook and divorce:
Whether Facebook or social media has caused the breakdown a relationship or not, social media is a valuable tool once a case has started. One of the first things I do when I’m retained is look online at both my client’s and the other spouse’s social media. People post information and pictures about the other parent, the children, their finances, their job, etc. that often comes back to haunt them.
If your position in Court is that you an unable to work due to a medical condition, posting pictures of your Costa Rican vacation, where you rode horses on the beach and zip-lined through the rainforest are not going to help you. Writing posts online about the other spouse’s infidelity and “How does my ex think it’s ok to bring our new daughter around his latest fling?” (especially when the children and/or family members can see it) is probably not the best way to communicate to the Judge that you can effectively co-parent. Remember: it is public site.
Also keep in mind that what may have been ok during the relationship, may not be ok now. Remember that funny, albeit sexist, post you put on Facebook? Or that picture you posted with your 6 month old holding a beer can? Unfortunately, these things can come back to bite you.
What can be worse than posting questionable items is removing them. Give credit to the Opposing Counsel that he or she has already printed records of your questionable behavior for the very purpose of ensuring that you aren’t trying to destroy evidence. In today’s world, preserving electronic data is becoming a huge concern because most information is electronically stored and even when you hit “delete”…it is still out there somewhere in cyberspace.
The take away point here is be very careful how you use social media and consult an attorney about the effects your social media could have on your case.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is for informational and educational use only and is not intended to be legal advice in any way. If legal advice is needed, one should contact an attorney directly.