Tips on Social Media’s Potential Effect on Your Divorce
You may not realize it, but photos and posts from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be introduced as evidence in court during your child custody dispute or divorce trial. Things that you may have posted hastily without thinking can end up having a big impact on your alimony payments, divorce settlement, or custodial arrangement. Read on to learn about how best to handle social media during a family court case.
Perception is everything, which can affect how much you pay in alimony or a settlement. It’s normal to feel the urge to brag about your fun new life now that you’re single, to prove to the world how well you’re doing. However, these sorts of posts can cause you a great deal of difficulty. Posting photos from a night out, surrounded by attractive strangers and bottles of liquor, on a weekend where you had the kids? This could cast serious doubt on your maturity as a parent, and how highly you prioritize your time with your children. Sharing photos from a weekend getaway with a new woman? If you’re simultaneously trying to negotiate a lower alimony payment and claiming poverty, these photos could seriously weaken your argument. Even if the truth behind these photos is different from the first impression they give off, you’ll have the burden of showing why the photos aren’t an accurate representation of your assets and lifestyle, and you may not be able to do so to the satisfaction of the court.
If you wouldn’t want the judge to see it, don’t post it. It may seem as though you’re just speaking with friends on your social media accounts, which can lull you into a false sense of privacy. Don’t forget that you’re posting information that hundreds or even thousands of people can see, and if your accounts aren’t set to “private,” then the whole world can see what you’re up to. You may also assume that if your profile is set to private, you can speak as openly as you’d like about your life, and that any old posts are safe from view by your ex. However, this isn’t the case. Many times, we add people as friends or followers on social media sites once, then never interact with them again, and forget that those people have access to our posts. These people may end up taking your ex’s side in a split, and they can screen-capture posts for your ex to submit as evidence. Additionally, many investigators are willing to assume a fake identity and send you a friend request in order to access your private posts. To protect yourself from this tactic, never add people as friends whom you don’t know. However, also keep in mind that you don’t have perfect control over who sees your posts, so instead, focus on only posting things you would feel comfortable with the judge or your ex’s attorney seeing.
Once it’s in writing, it can go before the court. It’s easy to get caught up in a heated email or text message exchange with your ex, and say terrible things that you might not even mean out of frustration. It is highly important to keep your cool when a conversation is in writing. Once it’s in writing, you should assume it will last forever. Don’t make promises or concessions that your spouse could later say she relied on, and never make threats.
Experienced and Aggressive Divorce Lawyers Serving Lynchburg, Roanoke and All of Central Virginia
If you are seeking determined, knowledgeable legal support for your divorce, contact the family law attorneys at Pack Law Group for a consultation on your case, at 540-586-7225.