Social Media and Family Law: Everyone is Watching, Including your Ex's Lawyer.
Have you ever thought, “I really wish I would have waited until tomorrow to make that post?” Well, you were probably right. Many people do not understand that once they post something on a social media platform, it has been broadcast to the world and there will be evidence of it lurking around even when you delete it shortly after posting.
As a family law attorney, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I LOVE it when I get to use it against the opposing party, but not so much when it is used against my clients. One of the worst things someone can do when involved in a divorce or custody battle is to begin “oversharing” on their favorite social media platform. Please take note that I used the words “someone” and “involved.” It does not always have to be a client’s social media that will be used against them. If it is a custody battle between two already divorced people, it may be that new spouse’s posts that your ex’s attorney uses against you. Therefore, when beginning any family law dispute, it is best to have a conversation with those closest to you regarding what they do and do not post when it comes to yourself, your children, your ex-spouse, or your ongoing dispute with an ex-spouse.
To post, or not to post. That is the Question.
During any family law proceeding dealing with custody of children, it is best to limit your social media posts. That night you were kid-free and out with the friends doing shots at the local bar might seem fun, light-hearted and funny. The judge may not see it that way, especially if there are multiple posts of you doing this sort of behavior. By all means, this does not mean that you cannot ever let your hair down when going through a custody battle, it just means you should be aware regarding what you post.
However, do not think that it is just the pictures that will be put up on the big screen for the whole court room to see. Attorneys love to read what you write as well. Remember that night you were so mad at the ex-spouse and current custody situation that you decided to air out some pretty negative things on Facebook? Maybe you do not, but I bet someone took screenshots and gave it to their attorney. That someone is your ex… or a mutual Facebook friend for your ex. While we are on the subject, please be cognizant when receiving new friend requests during this time as well. People tend to want to make fake profiles or have other mutual friends stalking your profile to get all your dirt.
Should I delete or deactivate my social media profiles all together during my case?
That may be a conversation for you and your attorney. I certainly have asked clients to deactivate their profiles during this time. However, this is usually when it becomes a big issue for them and their case. If you are mindful and think about it before your posts, there should be no need to delete or deactivate your accounts. The best question to ask yourself when posting something is, “Could a judge view this negatively when he or she sees my posts?” If the answer is anything but a resounding NO, then you probably should not post.
At Eason Law, we have helped many people navigate divorce and custody cases. If you need an experienced legal team to help you navigate your criminal law matters, call us today and let us help you through the process.
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