With more people active on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter than ever before, the legal community has begun to use it as a tool in analyzing cases. What you put on social media is public, regardless of your privacy settings — and anything you write or post could eventually come back to haunt you.
Here are just a few potential consequences of irresponsible social media use when going through a divorce or child custody case:
- Attorneys or private investigators may uncover evidence of affairs through analyzing social media posts. Facebook and online dating services in particular have become go-to sources for investigators to reveal the existence of an affair.
- Posts of all types on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, both positive and negative, may indicate the person’s state of mind — whether it is a spouse or child. Courts can add these posts to evidence they must consider to determine whether a spouse is fit to have custody.
- Various posts could reveal evidence of assets, resources and job prospects.
- Photos and other posts could provide evidence of custody violations and/or travel restrictions.
- People may violate restraining orders or be guilty of stalking others with friend requests, tweets, pokes and other social media activities.
- Connections via social media networks could indicate possible bias if experts, professionals or other people who testify in a given case know either party involved in the case.
A good rule of thumb is to always assume that anything you post online is “on the record.” If you are going through a divorce or an adversarial family law proceeding, your best bet might be to temporarily deactivate your social media accounts.
For further guidance on this and various other family law issues, contact an experienced Jacksonville divorce attorney with Combs Greene, PA.
Attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.