Can My Facebook and Other Social Media Posts Be Used Against Me in Court?
When it comes to maintaining connections with people, Facebook and other social media platforms have allowed us to keep in touch, share memories, and remember past events. It’s fun to share cute moments with our children, heart-warming family photos, and funny videos of our pets. But sharing too much during your divorce or custody dispute could end up harming your case.
If you have an open court case, we recommend not posting on social media until your case is resolved. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, anything you post to your social media accounts could potentially become evidence in a court hearing. It doesn’t matter whether you designate your account as “public” or “private,” if you post something, a judge could end up reading it in court. That’s because the other party can ask you to produce your social media posts during the discovery process.
You may not believe what you post to your social media accounts can be used against you but most divorce cases now use social media posts as evidence to back specific claims. For instance, we’ve witnessed a child support case where one parent was able to prove the other was paid under the table with pictures of cash the other parent posted to Facebook. In another case, one spouse was able to prove the other spouse was lying about where they were at a certain time because the other spouse checked into Facebook during that time.
These are pretty clear-cut examples, but you never know what will help prove the other side’s case. During a divorce, it’s easy to vent on social media about the things you’re going through. Unfortunately, it’s also easy for attorneys on the other side to take these venting sessions and use them to support their claims against you. It’s best not to post on social media at all while your case is open.
Another reason is that social media posts have a way of fueling drama between family members and friends. Several of our clients have complained to us about the drama they’ve experienced on social media during and after a divorce. People are naturally curious, and they tend to gossip (even if they’re your friends). This alone takes a toll after a while. But when family and friends (or former friends) become meanspirited, things can devolve quickly. Even the most innocuous post can be taken out of context and used to create tension and conflict. It’s best to take a break and pause your social media activity until your case is resolved.
While we don’t recommend or advise deleting your social media posts or accounts, we do recommend taking a break. Removing the app from your phone so you’re less likely to click on it and read the latest posts is a great step to take.
It can be difficult to navigate divorce on your own. From figuring out child custody and child support to separating your financial estate, divorce is tough. But you don’t have to do it alone. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help. Contact our office to schedule a consultation. Let us know your questions, including any social media related questions, and we’ll discuss your legal rights and help you create a plan for moving forward.
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