Think Before You Post: How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce
Social media presents a unique danger when you are in the midst of a divorce or proceedings related to the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody). In personal injury or criminal cases, clients may be encouraged to set their profiles to private so that the profiles cannot be seen by insurance companies or investigators.
When you are involved in a divorce or child-related action, however, making your social media private may not be enough of a protective measure because you likely are “friends” or connected with people who have an interest in your case—namely your family members and real-world friends. With this in mind, you should consider limiting your posting to social media, in addition to making your profiles private.
Social Medial Posts as Evidence
Virtually any social medial post could be potentially used as evidence by the other party during your family law proceedings. Some of the most dangerous include:
- Posts or photos that are derogatory about your ex or his or her family
- Posts or photos depicting alcohol or drug consumption
- Posts or photos about children where it appears they are not properly supervised
- Posts or photos about assets that have been undisclosed
- Posts or photos about love interests
Remember that even posts that seem harmless and innocent could potentially be used against you. Social media posts freeze a single moment with little or no context, which can often blur the facts and perception of a situation.
If you post on Facebook, for example, “It’s 11:30 and I am just getting out of bed,” the post could be spun to suggest that you are not taking proper care of your children. In truth, you might have spent the night before caring for your sick child, or the kids could be staying with their grandparents for the weekend.
Assume Everything Will Be Public
Before posting anything, you need to consider if what you wish to share is worth endangering the case at hand. A wise rule to follow is to ask if you would send what you are posting to your ex, his or her family, his or her attorney, and the judge in your case.
Deleting Is Dangerous Too
If you are concerned about old posts and you are considering deleting some of them, you should seek legal counsel first. Such an act might be prohibited under the law due to the doctrine of “spoliation,” which is the alteration or destruction of potentially material evidence. The court could order sanctions against you for deleting your posts if you are found to have done so to manipulate your case.
Contact a St. Charles Family Lawyer
If you have concerns regarding your various social media accounts and the ways in which they could affect your family law proceedings, speak with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer. At MKFM Law, our team can help you find the answers to whatever questions you may have, and we will provide you with the dependable representation you need. Call 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation today.