If you are going through a divorce in North Carolina, it is important to understand how social media could impact your case. Social media posts are commonly used in divorce cases, especially those that involve contentious child custody matters. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Pause Before You Post
It is best not to speak about your case on social media at all. In many cases, there are orders not to speak to children about the case and posting about your case on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, creates a risk that you are in violation of court orders.
Another important thing to consider is that what you think is an appropriate thing to post – for example, a funny photo of you with a glass of wine in hand – may not be perceived the same way by a judge. Also, the opposing side may try to use or misconstrue everything that they can to win his or her case.
Clean Up While You Can
You have probably heard it before, but anything you post online stays virtual forever, even if you take it down later. That said, maybe you should consider cleaning up your social media posts. Delete any photos or entries that could be misconstrued by your spouse or partner.
You should also consider possibly taking social media accounts down while your case is pending. That way there is no risk that something that was posted could be taken the wrong way or used against you regardless of whether you posted it today or yesteryear.
How Social Media Posts Can Be Used Against You
Something that normally may not be considered harmful, meaningful, or serious can be used against you in court. Social media accounts are one of the first places that divorce attorneys look when they are trying to develop a case against you.
Even if you are no longer Facebook friends with your estranged spouse, most people who have been married have mutual friends in common and still speak to relatives who may share account information. Even if you do not take down your social media accounts while your divorce or custody case is pending, consider abiding by the following:
- Do not assume just because your settings are set to private that no one else will see your postings, because anyone who is permitted can share what you have with others.
- Conduct your social media life as though your soon-to-be spouse or partner can see everything you post. So, if you want spousal support, don't post pictures of you in a $500 dress. Likewise, if you want joint or sole custody, don't post threatening messages or pictures of you drinking – even if it was all fun and perfectly legal.
- Stay away from social media when you are angry or frustrated. You don't want someone building a bad picture of you even though you have the right to be upset sometimes.
Authentication of Social Media Posts
One final but important point: if there was a social media post allegedly sent by you, you have an obligation to tell the truth if asked if you legitimately sent the message or not. Remember that all testimony in a court of law is under oath.
Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Shelby, NC
Do you have questions about how social media can impact your divorce case or a child custody case?
Contact our family law attorneys at Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC for an initial consultation. Our legal team is experienced, knowledgable, and resourceful. We will help you through the entire process.