February 16, 2015
Why Facebook Can Be a Divorce Lawyer’s Best Friend
One of the first bits of advice that I give my divorce clients is to avoid posting on Facebook and other social media. It is an effective way to completely destroy your case.
First, the comments and images that you post aren’t as private as you might think. Limiting what can be viewed on your Facebook wall to those individuals that who are your Facebook friends doesn’t necessarily keep a nosey person (like me) from seeing what’s on there. There are ways to get around your privacy settings. Trust me. Also, are all of your Facebook “friends” really your friends in the historical sense of the word? I can’t tell you how many times I have received emailed screen shots of Facebook posts from uninvolved parties that are “just trying to do the right thing”.
Second, your comments about what a loser of a spouse you have or what a sorry excuse for a parent the opposing party may be is ammunition for me. I will use it against you. Judges often look the things that people post about their spouse or the other parent and fairly quickly determine that they aren’t nearly so moral and stable as they are portraying themselves to be in the courtroom. In custody cases it tells the judge that if you are willing to disparage the other parent to the entire world then you will probably have no problem disparaging the other parent to the child or children involved. Blowing off steam on social media could affect you getting physical custody of your child or children.
Finally, subtle comments about what you are doing or where you are going might be used against you. Posting photos of yourself having drinks and enjoying yourself might be used against you. A good lawyer will take this information and these images and make it fit the evidence that he is presenting against you.
So, if you going through a divorce or custody case and you aren’t willing to shut down or suspend your Facebook or social media account then at the very least avoid posting images and information. It might not be as harmless or as private as you think.
Copyright © 1997 to 2012, Johnston & Owen, LLP. All rights reserved.Designed by Stone Soup Technology, LLC