It is crucial that you are aware of the many ways that your decisions and actions can affect your divorce proceedings. If you have filed for divorce, or are in a battle for child custody or another type of family law matter, creating posts about the case on social media may impact the outcome of the case.
The Impact of Social Media
Social media is now considered an important part of many people’s lives. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 65% of adults who have access to the Internet use social media in some way. For those who are under the age of 30, the number is higher, resting around 89%.
For some, it is difficult to remember that the opinions and thoughts you express on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are not always personal. These platforms and sites aren’t like your own, private diary. They are public and can be assessed by others. If you state personal commentary or opinions online, it may wind up damaging your family law case.
Using Social Media Against You
There are many family law attorneys who have used social media as evidence in the past. Even with the stringent privacy settings that are available, your family, friends and even your own children may have access to a damaging Facebook rant or Instagram comment. Your spouse, the other parent of the child or even one of their friends may see this post.
For example, if you are posting about a large purchase you made, it may impact property division decisions. Even a picture that you are tagged in from a work event that showed alcohol was present may be interpreted as less than positive in court. You have to think about everything you do on social media, how it may look and the impact it may have on your case.
Protecting Yourself Online
There are a number of tips that you can use to ensure you don’t damage your case by using social media, which include:
• Reduce your friends list to just the people you trust and know well
• Change the passwords you use on your devices and accounts
• Make sure that you have the highest privacy settings in place, but remember that everything put on the internet is public
• Think about taking a social media break until the case is over
Before you make a post that you may regret, you need to take a step back. Think about why you are posting the comment, status or post. You may just want to express yourself in a situation where you feel like no one is listening. Or you could be just trying to reach out for support. Even if the post isn’t done with malicious intent, it could be misconstrued and used against you.
Keep the information here in mind if you are going through a divorce or family law issue. If you need legal representation please contact our Jacksonville divorce and family law lawyers at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton by calling (904) 398-2212. Our firm services all of Duval, St John and Clay Counties for our offices in Jacksonville