Facebook, Twitter, Google Circles, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media websites can have a huge impact on a custody,divorce or child support case. "Posts" to social media can be used against you in a family court or a divorce legal matter. It is very important you review with your lawyer your access to and/or participation in these social media websites.
Many lawyers will recommend that you discontinue use of social media websites or at the very least change your privacy settings and/or limit your use of social media. Always keep in mind that anything that is posted could be used against you in a courtroom. Lastly, make sure nothing controversial is posted online by your friends.
Examples of problematic "posts" include the following:
1. Posting pictures of a new car or discussing vacations in a child support case or any case dealing with financial issues.
2. Changing your relationship status.
3. Posting pictures or talking about your "crazy night out" when you were supposed to have time with your children.
4. Any discussion of illegal activity, drug use or excessive alcohol use.
5. Posting information about your court case, the judge or lawyers.
6. Posting information about your spouse or the mother/father of your children. Social media is not the place to make derogatory comments.
7. Do not put any provocative pictures of yourself or others on any internet website.
8. Posting conversations you had with your lawyer.
Importantly, you do not need to be a private investigator to research and print copies of pages from social media websites. In a contested divorce, custody or child support matter social media could be used against you. For example, if you claim to have no money to pay child support your Facebook page should not include posts of a recent vacation. In addition, in a custody case if you are fighting to have custody of your children don't post on a dating website that you are single without children. Lastly, never post threating comments towards anyone especially if the other party is claiming you have anger management issues.
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, depending on your case, we may recommend the following with respect to your social media accounts:
1. Close all accounts.
2. Change passwords and privacy settings.
3. "Unfriend" your spouse, ex-spouse and their friends and family.
4. If you have to use social media be extremely careful what you post.
5. Always keep track of your spouse's or girlfriend's/boyfriend's account as they may not be getting this good advice about social media.
6. Tell your friends not to post anything about you or your family.
If you or a loved one has a divorce matter, custody/visitation case or a child support case it is important to have a lawyer to help you protect your rights. Call the law firm of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP for a free legal consultation.