Ready to post a picture of your new car? About to tweet how upset you are with your ex? You might want to think twice before doing that.
Like text messages and emails, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are now an important source of information for litigation. Individuals use these sites to share their daily thoughts, perhaps venting about pet peeves and expose to the public just about any detail of their lives imaginable. Many people put their entire lives on these sites without realizing the consequences.
Facebook and other social media websites have become a way to share information and keep in touch with friends, but they also permit others to obtain information about you. This might not raise any concern if you are the occasional user; however, there are many potential, negative side effects of social media when it comes to your court case, especially during a divorce or child custody dispute.
Those posts about your newly, single lavish lifestyle might not be beneficial when it comes to issues of support in a divorce. All the tweets disparaging your ex will not look very good when the other side uses them to show the court what you are saying about your child’s parent. Often times a questionable photo or comment can be used against you, even taken out of context, if the opposing party has access to your profile (and you should assume that they do!)
It is crucial to remember that when you are posting to a social media site, your ex or ex’s attorney is likely printing out what you have posted and will use it against you if they can. Why give the opposing side ammunition? Consider taking a vacation from social media while your proceedings are pending, or at the very least take a minute to reflect on the consequences before you post for the world to see. And of course, remember to look up the opposing party if you do find yourself in a legal proceeding – you never know what you might find!
– Sarah Rosenblatt