Your Social Networks Can And Will Be Used Against You!
The digital age is bringing negative consequences to the courtroom. Since 2010 social media has become a key part of evidence in family law cases. In fact, more than 88 percent of divorce attorneys have used social networking posts, or E- discovery, as evidence in divorce court cases in the past six years according to the study released in 2010 by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Lawyers practicing family law are warning their clients about posting anything on any of their social media accounts before, during and after a divorce. In a perfect world clients would follow that advice but this is not a perfect world.
Divorce lawyers all over the country are scouring Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and Instagram pictures and captions in the courtroom. These “snapshots” in to the lives of soon to be or already ex- spouses have exposed double lives, extramarital affairs, and outright lies that can affect everything from spousal support (alimony) to the time with your children.
For example, a dad may be telling the court’s he is out of money and business is terrible while posting pictures or videos on Facebook or YouTube of him sitting on his brand new sailboat with his new girl friend. Can you imagine the reaction of the judge when those posts come into evidence? Social media networking can undermine your divorce (or prove your point!).
So the real question is how to keep your social media activity from hurting you in court.
The best practice would be to shut down the use of all social media during your legal proceeding, however, that is unlikely so here are a few less restrictive tips:
Don’t Brag. Think twice about “bragging” to your ex via any social media post. Party pictures can get you in trouble in more ways than just one.
Don’t Mention Your Case. Don’t ever mention your family law case on social media even as a prayer request.
Block Your Ex. Block your ex spouse from all your social networking sites and consider blocking or limiting availability to certain family, friends, or colleagues who are sympathetic to your ex spouse.
Change Your Passwords. If your ex spouse had access to any of your social media sites, laptops, or phones, it is suggested to change your passwords.
- Stop Checking In And Geotagging. Don’t let everyone know your every location during this vulnerable time in your life. It’s time to chill out on any location services software as “check ins” on your iPhone or with Instagram’s newfound “Geotagging” capabilities.
While posting, Facebooking, and tweeting may be fun, you are rolling the social media dice every time you put something out there. So, caution rules the day when protecting your case from the social media bug.