Social Media Not Your ‘Friend’ During Divorce
Social media continues to be a fruitful source of evidence in divorce cases, despite warnings and cautionary tales about Facebook posts and indiscreet tweets ending up in court.
Facebook is such a wellspring of divorce evidence, in fact, that a 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed that 66 percent of divorce lawyers surveyed said it was a primary source of evidence in their cases.
In that same survey, 81 percent of the nation’s top divorce lawyers said they had seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years. Something tells us that the situation hasn’t gotten any better in the last two years.
So what do we advise our clients regarding social media? Simple: Be super cautious about Facebook, Twitter and any other social media accounts.
The only surefire way to keep your social media information out of court is not to create it in the first place. No updated “relationship status” (for instance, going from Married to Separated before your soon-to-be ex even knew this was an option), no happy hour photos with exotic dancers, no exasperated status updates alluding to your ex or, worse, your children (which could easily come up in custody hearings), no lewd or profane tweets-you get the picture. If these things don’t exist, they can’t be used against you.
If you simply can’t live without your Facebook or other social media outlets, you might want to have a copy of the Miranda Warning posted at the top of your computer screen with this part highlighted: “Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.”