How Social Media Impacts Family Law

Social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are great ways for you to connect with new acquaintances, friends, and relatives. It helps people interact with businesses and services they love, and even provides a forum to exchange ideas. With so many perks, it is no wonder that most people have at least one social media account. However, the things that people post to social media become public information, meaning that it can be used against them in a court case.

Is social media good or bad?

Family law is extremely contentious, and many people have a difficult time remaining calm, cool, and collected. Even seemingly innocent status updates or profile changes can have immense implications in court. For example, if a parent attended a work-sponsored party and had a picture taken with a glass of wine that was posted to Facebook, an attorney can spin that as neglecting their parental duties in favor of spending time at a bar. Depending on other evidence presented, a judge may choose to withhold custody based on this information.

The use of social media can be good and bad. Social media may bolster one parent's claims or provide evidence that the other should not get custody. Conversely, this oversharing of information is likely to convey something very different to someone that is seeking to discredit your claims.

To best protect yourself during a divorce or custody case, you should:

  • Change passwords to accounts regularly
  • Delete social networking accounts until the court case is completed
  • Editing friend lists to reflect only who you are comfortable with
  • Creating separate social media accounts if others were jointly used
  • Altering privacy settings to the most restrictive
  • Avoid posting anything negative that could be viewed during the case

Social media is only one way that the other side can use your personal life and experiences to weaken your case. Even if you are not "friends" with your spouse, attorneys will hire experts to discover information that can place you at a disadvantage.

Work with a family law attorney at Cutter & Lax to learn how social media evidence can have an impact on your court case!