Could Your Facebook Page Affect Your Divorce or Custody Battle?
Social media sometimes gives us a false sense of security and privacy. Some of us become comfortable sharing more and more of our daily lives on Facebook and Instagram, even sometimes posting angry diatribes or photos of people we’re newly dating. When going through a contentious dispute with a former spouse or co-parent, however, this sort of openness can end up coming back to haunt you in court.
Divorces and divisions of custody involve patently personal issues, thus making information you post about your personal life relevant to the court proceedings. For example, posting photos from a recent tropical vacation could make it appear as though you have greater disposable income than you’d previously disclosed, and affect a request for a reduction or increase in alimony. If your Facebook wall is loaded with photos from wild nights out, or comments from friends describing drunken escapades, this could make you appear as though you would not be a responsible choice to hold primary custody of your child. These posts may not be an accurate representation of your income or lifestyle, but when presented in court, they could still be persuasive to a judge.
What can you do to avoid these unpleasant outcomes? When you begin a court proceeding on a family law case, make all of your social media accounts private, and do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Investigators will sometimes adopt a fake persona to add opposing parties as friends in order to view protected photos and posts. Even if your accounts are already private, if it’s possible that your former spouse has already seen noteworthy posts, don’t go on a deleting spree. Since those posts could be submitted as evidence to the court, deleting those posts could be considered destruction of evidence. A better course of action is to keep your posts to a minimum during any court proceeding, even if your former spouse or co-parent can’t access your information. You may not realize that a friend’s allegiance is with your ex rather than with you, and that person may be passing things you post along, even if they’re posted privately. Most importantly, never post about your case, no matter how tempting it may be to vent your frustrations. Keep those complaints between yourself and your attorney.
If you are in the Centennial or Denver, Colorado area and are in need of a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney for your custody dispute or divorce, contact the Law Offices of Kenneth Brock for a consultation, at 720-493-8808.