In the digital age, society is thoroughly interconnected by social media. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Vine, Foursquare to LinkedIn, people are able to keep up with practically anyone and observe the activities in each other’s lives like never before. So as with your professional life as is true with your personal life, that isn’t so private anymore. When going through a relationship breakup like legal separation, divorce, or a modification of custody or child support, parties need to be aware of possible pitfalls in utilizing social media sites too freely.
It is becoming more and more common for evidence from such sites to pop up in court, and many judges are allowing screenshots, text messages, Internet photos, and other similar items to be admitted as exhibits. Below are some common mistakes people make via social media during their divorce proceedings.
Text message abuse
Arguing via text, sending harassing / abusive messages (such as name-calling or texting 40 times an hour to “check-in” on your ex) or similar actions can harm your case. Text messages can be introduced as evidence in many jurisdictions, so a good rule to live by is simply not to send a text that would be embarrassing for the judge to read at your next hearing
Posting photos of your new car, sports season tickets, trip to Hawaii, etc.
Especially when child support or other financial issues are pending, you want to be careful not to brag about recent purchases or monetary accomplishments for two reasons:
1. Your ex can use it to call into doubt your income level; and 2. You may not want to portray the image that you are making a “braggable” amount of money if your ex is claiming financial difficulties and asking for higher maintenance or child support.
Again, avoiding such public displays can also help keep the peace between you and your ex. Divorce can be financially burdensome for all involved, and you probably wouldn’t appreciate seeing similar photos or purchases by your ex.
Pictures of social events, drinking, drug use, or referencing the same
While having a few drinks during your free time isn’t illegal, posting photos of you bonging beers or statuses about getting wasted on a regular basis doesn’t necessarily invoke confidence in stability and maturity from a judge’s perspective. It may seem like common sense, but make sure to keep private events in your life private