How Social Media Can Impact Your Divorce in Shelby, NC

Posted by Josh Valentine | May 09, 2019

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. 

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar