Social Media and Divorce: Your Posts Can and Will Be Used Against You
Thanks for visiting our blog and reading this post. We hope you find it interesting and informative. If you do, you may even decide to share it on social media. But if you are in the middle of divorce proceedings or anticipate getting divorced in the foreseeable future, you’ll want to be extremely careful with other information, photos, or comments you share and post online.
While posting an eye-catching article or a funny cat video may not cause you problems, sharing thoughts, comments or pictures about your life, marriage and spouse on social media can have a dreadful impact on the outcome of your divorce. Ill-advised posts and pictures have become powerful weapons in divorce proceedings, and your online life can be a treasure trove of information for your spouse and their lawyer. Almost anything you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media site – as well anything posted by others – can and will be used against you in a Georgia divorce proceeding.
Giving Your Spouse Evidence
Back in the day, before social media became a constant presence in our lives, private investigators hired by divorce lawyers would spend hours and days trying to dig up dirt on their client’s spouse: evidence of infidelity, deception about assets or income, or behavior that could call into question their fitness as a parent. Now, stakeouts and surveillance have been replaced by mouse-clicks and page views. Prolific social media users voluntarily share a wealth of revealing and intimate information about their lives, often without thinking about the consequences or taking false comfort in their “privacy” settings.
The use of social media posts as evidence in divorce cases has become standard operating procedure. More than 80 percent of divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported an explosive increase in the amount of evidence collected from social networking sites in the past few years.
An NBC News survey of numerous divorce and family law attorneys provided some illustrative examples of how social media caused headaches in divorce proceedings:
- A husband went on Match.com and proudly declared his single, childless status while also seeking primary custody of his supposedly nonexistent children.
- A husband denied that he had anger management issues, but his denial was undermined by his Facebook profile in which he claimed that “If you have the balls to get in my face, I’ll kick your ass into submission.”
- A mom testified under oath that she did not use marijuana, but the picture she posted on Facebook of her smoking pot at a party made that claim go up in smoke.
- A spouse sought alimony claiming he was unemployed, which slightly contradicted his online bragging about his great new job.
Don’t Rely on Privacy Settings
Of course, you wouldn’t be so foolish as to post such obviously harmful comments. Besides, only your friends can see your posts because of your privacy settings. But your privacy settings won’t necessarily save you.
Several courts have held that social media postings are not private, even when users adjust their privacy settings to hide their posts from public view. Facebook and Twitter’s privacy policies warn users that the purpose of the sites is to share information, and there have been cases where judges have ordered litigants to turn over social media passwords so that opposing counsel or prosecutors could gain access to the accounts and see all there is to see.
Do you really want your soon-to-be-ex and his or her lawyer to know where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing, who you have been with or your state of mind? Would you want a judge to see your posts or photos? Whenever you think about posting on social media, these are the questions you need to ask yourself. If you can’t go cold turkey on social media, try to limit your posts as much as possible and avoid any posts that discuss your spouse, your marriage, your case, or your feelings.
Call the Divorce Lawyers at North Metro Litigators Today
The Alpharetta divorce lawyers at North Metro Litigators provide effective and compassionate divorce representation at a reasonable cost. Call us today at (678) 944-0000 or contact us to arrange for your free initial consultation.