Almost everyone is affected by social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These can be great ways to stay in touch with friends and family you don’t see every day. They can also be essential business building tools. However, these same platforms can also become tools or a liability in your divorce or child custody case.
Social media can provide clues to your spouse’s lifestyle and assets. If your spouse is posting on her Facebook about the new car she just purchased, for example, this may be an indication that she does not actually need the alimony she is requesting. Posts containing references to upcoming vacations or anticipated bonuses or overtime can also be helpful if you need to show the court that your spouse has greater financial resources than has previously been disclosed.
Similarly, information shared on social media can be used as evidence of an extra-marital affair. If your spouse constantly posts photos or status updates involving one particular “friend,” your attorney may be able to use this information at trial.
During the discovery process, your attorney may be able to request that your spouse disclose social media activity, in addition to copies of emails or text messages. These documents may then be used at trial to help prove your case.
Of importance is the fact that your spouse may also use your social media posts and interactions at trial. The adage of “loose lips sink ships” should be liberally applied to any social media interaction. Your spouse is just as entitled to bring up your posts and photos in court as you are. It may be tempting to post your frustration at your spouse or a court hearing on Facebook to get advice or sympathy, but it is much wiser to keep such ruminations off of all social media. When preparing to post anything, ask yourself whether you are prepared for your post to be brought up in court, and how will it look to the judge if it is? Discuss with your attorney what subject matter should be off-limits during your case. It is possible that your attorney may recommend you stop using social media completely during your divorce. However, do not delete your accounts without first discussing it with your attorney.
We are well-acquainted with the unique challenges that come with a world flooded with social media interactions. We look forward to talking with you about how to use social media in your case. Call us at (253) 272-9459 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.