While social media is primarily used to share information and to keep in touch with family and friends, it is progressively being used within family law cases to assist attorneys with collecting evidence against the opposing party or anyone who may hinder their client’s case. Just as your social media can harm your chances of being hired, it can severely harm your divorce and/or custody case.
How can a social media account negatively impact a family law case?
Any negative comments, offensive posts, hostile interactions, or inappropriate images posted onto a social media platform can be submitted as exhibits (evidence) in family law cases. Posting updates on social media such as a location check-in, photos including a new partner, photos of a parent consuming an alcoholic beverage, or statuses to “vent” or post personal thoughts or feelings can potentially be used to indicate that a parent is unsuited for custody.
It is important to not have a lapse in judgment when social media is involved. Do not write or share statuses, images, or comments that you would not be comfortable with your judge seeing. Anything posted within a social media forum is considered “in writing”, and so should be treated as such. It is crucial that you protect your best interests when interacting on the internet.
How can one practice acceptable social media etiquette?
- When you go to post on social media, assume that everyone involved within your case is going to see it.
- Do not post or “vent” about a former partner or spouse. The more you post in a “ranting” manner; it can portray you as unstable or immature.
- Do not post about small or large purchases or financial assets.
- Do not comment about courtroom proceedings. Social media is not the appropriate platform to “vent” about the proceeding, the judge, or the opposing party. This can demonstrate a lack of discretion and maturity.
- Be smart about who you have on your social media platforms. Third-party comments can be just as harmful as your own.
- Take a social media hiatus. Why give the other party anything more to use against you?
Do not delete your prior social media evidence!
While you may want to go back and delete any posts or pictures that you believe will be used against you in your divorce or custody case, this may be considered spoliation of evidence and the consequences of such can be more serious than if the evidence were preserved in court. You need to be extremely careful of what you post on the internet, but also what you delete.
If you are, or you suspect to be involved in a family law dispute, or you believe that social media could affect your family law case, contact Rosenquist Law Office by phone at (701) 775-0654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation today.
*The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as so.
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