Be Careful What You Post on Social Media
Social media is everywhere, and most of us consider it relatively harmless. But the things that we put on social media in the form of words, pictures or videos, can come back to haunt us. If you are in the middle of a divorce, or are anticipating being divorced, it’s important to be mindful of what you are posting on social media.
One Picture or Video Can Say a Lot
The things you post on social media can be evidence in your family law case and can be used against you. We may not give much thought to things like:
- A picture of a spouse wearing a $10,000 watch even though he or she is trying to convince a court that he or she does not have enough income for alimony or support
- A picture or video of a spouse on a cruise, even as he or she is trying to argue that he or she is working as hard as possible, but still can’t afford alimony or child support
- A picture of video of a spouse doing something illegal (or which may be legal but not beneficial to having children around) such as excessive drinking, fighting, or recreational drug usage
- A picture of a spouse partying while also saying in court that he or she is the one who spends nights with the child helping with homework
Your Online Image Could Define You
Remember that a picture or quick video may not convey a great or even an accurate image of you (for example, partying one night does not make you an irresponsible parent). Still, to a judge that has limited time and must get to know who you are very quickly, a picture or video can be very persuasive.
Many people even try to create a different image of themselves online than they do in real life. Still, many don’t give much thought to how that online image translates to a judge that is determining things like alimony or child custody.
Social Media Evidence is Common
According to one study, over 80% of attorneys find something on social media that can be used to help their clients’ cases. Sixty-six percent of people surveyed said that Facebook information was a main source of evidence in their case.
In some cases, online evidence can be inadmissible, such as if it was procured by fraud–for example, hacking, or one spouse pretending to be someone else online so that he or she can be “friends” with the other just to access the other spouse’s pictures. However, many couples share passwords, and there is nothing illegal about one spouse using the password to obtain information to use against the other.
Our Tampa divorce attorneys at the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help you with your family law problems and can make sure that you are doing everything you can to make your divorce case as strong as possible.