It seems that these days, one of the most common things divorcing spouses do when the divorce gets ugly, or their soon-to-be-ex is frustrating them, is turn to social media to vent. Talk about divorce in a modern age! You know what we’re talking about — you’ve probably seen a social media friend or two fire off Facebook posts or tweets that ring with bitterness and anger. Or sometimes the post (maybe a photo) is meant to show to the world (and their ex) how well they’re doing. Regardless of the reason, it is important that you know whatever you share online can be used against you, particularly during a contentious divorce. Of course, not all divorces need to be like this.
What may seem like a small, harmless photo or tweet can have huge legal and financial consequences in your divorce.
Continue reading to learn why this may be the case.
1. Social Media is Not Private.
Your Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram photos, etc… can be used against you in a divorce case. And if you think you’re being sneaky by blocking or de-friending your ex, you’re mistaken. Not only can your ex get access through a mutual friend’s account, but even deleted posts, photos, etc… never really go away. A savvy divorce lawyer can explain how this works in further detail.
2. Social Media and Divorce Stats
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of AAML members say they have seen increased use of evidence from social networking websites during the past five years (with Facebook being cited as the primary culprit). What’s more, just because you may not post something doesn’t mean what someone else shares (i.e. your child) can’t be used against you in a court of law. For example, if parents are sharing custody and their teenager posts a selfie of them drinking alcohol at a party, that photo can be used against the parent who was technically “on the clock” as evidence of unfit parenting. Even a video that is meant to be cute — like a child bouncing on a trampoline — can be viewed as showcasing a “dangerous” activity. As always, it is important to consider the many ways in which something could be interpreted — especially against you.
3. Appearance of Impropriety
As we stated above, you must consider all the possible ways in which someone might view your use of social media. It is too easy for an aggressive divorce lawyer or angry ex to take a few ‘somethings’ out of context and string together an image that paints you in a negative light.
For more information on how social media can be used in California divorces, contact the expert Los Angeles family lawyers at Walzer Melcher LLP today.