Social Media, Facebook and Divorce
Posting on Facebook (and other social media sites, such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram) has grown in epic proportions over the last several years. These social media sites can be fun and a useful and easy means for people across the globe to stay connected with one another. Many studies, however, have shown a strong connection with social media and divorce. Posting on Facebook can be damaging to your divorce case as these posts, pictures and comments can be used against you in a courtroom. For this reason, many divorce lawyers are advising their clients to be extremely cautious with how they use social media during their divorce. Many attorneys are even advising their clients to discontinue the use of social media during the divorce. Do NOT, however, delete your Facebook account during the pendency of your divorce case as this could result in the judge finding that you destroyed evidence resulting in possible sanctions against you. The bottom line? Be very careful on what you post on line and discuss this issue with your attorney.
After discussing this issue with your attorney, there are several reasons why you should deactivate your Facebook account when going through a divorce.Reasons to Deactivate Facebook During Your Divorce
- Your Facebook Account is Subject to the Discovery Rules
When you are going through a divorce, your spouse’s attorney will engage in the discovery process whereby they will want you to answer questions and produce certain documents. Your spouse’s attorney can also ask for your Facebook history. Why? To see if you post pictures that could demonstrate that you’re an unfit parent, to see if you post images of you on vacation with another man/woman, to see if you post negative comments about your spouse, etc. You could post a comment indicating that you received a large bonus at work which could result in an increase of your alimony (maintenance) obligation. You could post pictures of you and your boyfriend/girlfriend enjoying fancy dinners or on expensive vacations, all of which could be used against you in court. If you turn over your Facebook history during your divorce, bear in mind that you have an ongoing, continuing obligation to supplement your discovery until the conclusion of your case.
- Your Spouse and Lawyer Can Be Watching You
If your spouse is making claims against you, such as that you are an unfit parent, then he/she can go to your Facebook page to see if you post bad pictures or say things which would demonstrate that you should not have complete access to your kids. In one case, a father wanted to get into the Rap music industry and so he posted pictures of himself with marijuana, liquor and guns so that he came across as “thug.” The mother of the child saw these pictures and used them in court in her attempts to claim that the father is a gang banger and should not have access to their son. As stated above, be careful. Your spouse and his/her attorney can be seeking evidence on Facebook to use against you.
If you are going to file for divorce or are in the midst of a divorce, be careful on what you post on social media. The attorneys at Taradash Given, P.C. have the experience to guide you through this process to ensure that you do not hurt yourself or your case. Contact us here or call us at 312-775-1020 for a free, no hassle consultation.