Unless you are stuck in the stone age, you are likely an active smartphone or a computer user. These little devices of modern convenience are packed with social media apps, pictures, and videos. With apps like FaceBook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube, your posts, snaps, tweets, and videos may not be as private as you think and that can be very embarrassing especially if they impact the outcome of your legal case. There are some things you should keep in mind when it comes to your own posts, tweets, and videos while you have an ongoing legal matter. Before you make any decisions, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
Cases involving Custody and Visitation, Child Support, Order of Protection, and Juvenile Delinquency all have similar pitfalls when you forget that your friends and family are not the only people who may see your post. Ex’s, employers, prosecutors or a trolling stranger, or even a member of your family you are not very close with enjoy creating problems. They are gleefully looking at an incriminating post that can cause real damage to your case. It may provide evidence to establish the existence of denied relationships, to show poor parenting skills or judgment, to support or refute an alibi, to show smoking or the use of other substances not normally associated with someone who is a law-abiding citizen and exemplary person.
We have seen posts used by an ex to show that the husband who could not afford child support wearing luxury items and on a trip to an exotic location. In another instance, people who deny drug or alcohol use generally would not post themselves wearing a t-shirt with a giant marijuana leaf and a blunt in their mouth. Would you? You may want to keep the following tips in mind:
- Set all your accounts to private.
- Think what would a judge, my ex, or my lawyer think if they saw this picture
- Consider setting up a google alert for your name to keep track of anyone attempting to use it for malicious purposes
- Don’t post anonymously. With the right computer forensics and resources, those posts won’t be anonymous for long
- Think before you post
- Consider enjoying the moment or experience without social media.
Social Media Behaviors You Need to Avoid During a Divorce
It is best not to post anything on social media while going through divorce proceedings. It will ensure that even seemingly innocent posts are not misinterpreted and used against you in court. It is important that you exercise caution when using social media. You can protect your privacy online by avoiding certain behaviors.
- Negative comments about your spouse, or ex-spouse. Comments, threats, and criticisms can have a negative impact on a case.
- Deleting social media activity. People often think that deleting an online post makes it go away forever. However, social media activity can’t be permanently deleted. You can find any damaging content and use it in court. You can be charged with guilt for deleting the comments.
- Talking about new relationships. It is important to keep private any romantic relationship that occurs during divorce proceedings. The evidence could be used against you as evidence of an affair.
- Letting friends post about your life. It is common for friends to have opinions on your ex-spouse. However, it is best not to allow them to post them online. This information could also prove to be harmful to you when it comes time to go to court.
- Sharing your location. Some people like to check in at popular events. But, bars, casinos, or clubs can be problematic.
Please post carefully. If you have any questions feel free to contact us online or call us at (718)-293-1542 and we will assist with your legal matter.