You should be aware of the perils of using social media during a divorce or will be involved in a court case for custody, co-parenting and assets. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, personal blogs and tons more online sites are a part of pretty much everyone’s lives these days. All social media establishes a record of communication. Social media allows us to put details of our lives on display where others can see it, share it and comment on it.
Regardless of how casual or informal your social media posts may seem, these posts and comments can be obtained and used against you in divorce or custody proceedings. This applies to Facebook updates, tweets, photos and information posted through any other social media site. Also, your emails and text messages, ones to and about your ex-spouse, are now admissible as evidence in court.
You should count on the opposing counsel to be checking out your social networking sites and the activity you post there. Social Media sites have become important resources for guiding questions asked during divorce proceedings. Many attorneys also conduct a Google search of all parties.
You may think you have set your profile, message or post to private, but it still has the potential to spread to as large a community as you can imagine. One thing to consider when putting information on social networking sites is that you can’t remove it. The entry is permanent, even if you delete it.
Before you post to a social media site consider these points:
- Evaluate your emotions before writing anything. If you’re frustrated or angry, don’t post any comments or pictures.Think about what you would want your children and family to have access to in the future.
- Once you post, your privacy is breached and you can’t take it back.
- Unfriend or block your soon to be ex-spouse and common friends to prevent damaging online communications.
- Check and change your privacy settings. Remember, your ex-spouse’s legal team can find and view everything posted on social media through research an discovery regardless of privacy settings. Every posting, even deleted ones, are permanent.
- Assume your posts are also under review, hold back from online behaviors that may be viewed as unfitting during divorce proceedings: flirting via chats, active profile on dating sites, texting while driving, drinking around the kids or any pictures showing you in a negative light.