“Dance like no one is watching, text and email like it will be read in court one day.”
While it sounds like a cute saying – the statement is good advice for someone going through a divorce, or any litigation for that matter. While emails and text messages are often used as evidence in divorce and custody cases – that is just the tip of the iceberg.
In this day and age of social media, online postings are often one of the first items requested by attorneys in the discovery process. While you cannot go back and erase what has been already posted, here are some tips for navigating social media while you in are negotiations or litigation.
Taking a hiatus from social media may be the healthiest option when going through the stresses involved in a divorce; however it may not sound like an appealable option for everyone – especially if social media is used in your work or if staying connected to friends and family is very important to you. If you chose to keep you profile active, be aware that everything you post or are tagged in can be used by your spouse. Did you just go on a great vacation and want to share the beautiful pictures? While most would consider this harmless, if you have a claim for financial support and your expensive hobbies, new purchases and vacations exceed your income and information provided in your financial affidavit, this could be problematic to explain to the Judge. Being tagged at a bar late at night when it’s your week with the kids is also not a good idea.
Posting pictures of kids is another area to be aware of. If you are involved in custody litigation or even negotiations, your social media posts could frustrate the progress you are making. This is especially true when one spouse posts pictures of a new friend or romantic interest with the children. Even if your spouse is “blocked,” and you don’t intend for your ex to see the pictures, you have no control over what “mutual” friends may share or what the opposing attorney may ask for in the discovery process. And this can lead to the unintended consequence of drilling the kids as to who mom or dad’s new “friend” is. And avoid stalking your ex’s postings and page. Spending too much time online is not only unproductive, but it could impact your ability to move on with your life. Avoid airing dirty laundry about your ex. No one wants to read it, and it will only harm the children.
If you have any questions related to this article or a question related to divorce, please contact us at 704-243-9693 or visit us at www.coxlawfirm.com.