Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, AOL, Texting, Email) in family law cases

In the recent past, in most family law cases, information about the bad conduct of a party was often based upon witnesses or private investigators. However, these days almost everyone uses some form of social media or electronic communication. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, texting, emailing, or some other social media, a wealth of knowledge potentially exists which may help or hurt your case.

Most people do not stop and think about the ramifications of sharing photos or personal information on these sites. Even if you do not feel like you are doing anything “wrong” sometimes your credibility can be compromised. For example, if there are photos of you always out with friends and drinking it could be inferred that you may have a drinking problem. It can compromise your position in a custody case. Your character may be questioned based on information from a social media site. Sometimes what appears to be innocent communications back and forth by email or text can be taken out of context and used against you. Once something is put out there on a social media site, it is out there for the world to see. Not only could a spouse potentially use the information against you in a divorce or custody case, but future employers could use it against you when you apply for a job. This doesn’t mean that you cannot use these sites or means of communication, but you should be more conscious about what you post. Keep it “G” rated. Delete old messages from emails and texts. Don’t give out your passwords or keep them in a place someone else can find them. If you have to stop and think about what someone might think about something you are posting chances are it shouldn’t be posted. Also, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, what would you think if you found that information out there on them? Would you question their character or credibility if you came across that information about them? If so, then don’t do it!