However, if you’re involved in a divorce and/or child custody case, what you post or text can have a huge effect on the ultimate outcome, and you need to be very careful about the information you share.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND FAMILY LAW
According to the site Divorcesource.com, “Lawyers are now more than ever using the social media websites as evidence in all types of family law cases. When people are typing on their computer, and no one is watching them, they have a false sense of anonymity when none really exists. However, in reality you are posting your private life to the entire cyber world.”
Social media can provide attorneys with information on everything from job search activities and spending habits to parental behavior, and it’s now “routinely used in divorce cases, alimony reduction/Lepis hearings, child support hearings, and child custody visitation disputes.”
Text messages can also create trouble, says Law Technology Today, since the message strands can be printed out and entered into the court’s record. “Anytime you pick up your phone to have a conversation, whether voice or text, there may be an exact record of what was said.”
WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT
When you’re tempted to jump on social media to vent feelings about your spouse, discuss your children, or talk about a new relationship, stop and think of the impact it could have on your case. Even if you’ve blocked your spouse from your Facebook page or other accounts, you may not have blocked friends or relatives who will see the comments and pass them on to him or her.
If your spouse brings this to court, you’ll have to consider divorce mediation or spend time and money defending yourself against anything from poor parenting to potential adultery. Should your child happen to read negative comments you made about your spouse’s parenting skills, you could be guilty of disparaging a parent in front of a child, possibly violating a court order.
As Law Technology Today reminds us, “Because we now live in a world where we tend to share our frustrations or our private moments with more and more people, we need to remember that what we share with our ‘friends’ could end up in the hands of people who will use those frustrations and private moments against us.”
And always check with your divorce attorney before shutting down a social media account, as deactivation could be seen as an attempt to withhold potential evidence.
I can help you successfully navigate these and many other issues through mediation and collaborative divorce options. Contact me to learn more.
ABOUT ERIN BIRT
Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.
She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.
Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association.