How Social Media (Specifically Facebook) Can Impact Your Divorce Case
It’s hard to think back to a time where Facebook or YouTube didn’t exist. It’s a solid reality that these social media sites, as well as others, are going to have a stronger presence in our lives and in society in the years to come.
Even now, it seems that everybody has a Facebook account. With that said, social media is looked at more seriously in regards to all aspects of our lives, instead of just being a fun way to advertise our lives and how our day is going.
Divorce outcomes are not off the table, when it comes to our social media actions. Don’t overlook anything you do on Facebook, because any small error can bear consequences. For Facebook, this includes photos you post, the emotions behind your statuses, pages you like, and comments you post. To save us some time, we will focus on Facebook over other social media sites. But please, apply this advice to all of the sites you use and take caution.
Now that we’ve warned you about the impact that can result from social media actions, we want to tell you five ways that social media can affect your divorce case, as stated by Attorney Kenneth Reyes of the Asian Journal:
Back to the idea that you should be careful with what you post, any comments or rants that show upset emotions over certain issues can pose concern to the other parties involved (including your spouse and household members). Some comments or posts are milder than others, but many comments or posts can come off as verbally threatening.
Even if your spouse is blocked from your social media account, you may still have mutual friends with them. Mutual friends are anybody, whether friends or family, that are also Facebook friends with the other party involved. Word can easily get around, and the concern can go to court. The Court can easily determine anything you post, if threatening enough, as domestic violence.
Best advice? Don’t be so impulsive, and “refrain from posting such rants or other harassing comments online”.
Custody decisions are based on what’s best for the child involved. Posting any pictures of yourself at parties involving any drugs, such as alcohol, or other habits, such as smoking, can be seen by more people than you realize.
Don’t think about hiding these photos, because there are ways that people can find your photos on the Internet nowadays. Remember, once these photos are online, they’re there forever.
Best advice? Avoid posting any pictures that aren’t family-friendly or kid-friendly. Apply the grandma test if you have to.
Spousal Support and Child Support
In a society full of selfies and materialism, Facebook is just the fuel for the fire. What better way to show off what you have than to post to the world, through pictures and statuses? It’s more common than you think, where people will show off their expensive vacations, cars, houses, watches, and any other item worth lots of money.
Some individuals are more showy than others, but your spouse or the court could easily find the subtleties in your profile. All it takes is one comment on some picture of some friend of yours or on some page you like, which would show up on their newsfeed. From that little hint, your spouse could take a screenshot of that comment and hold it as evidence.
Best advice? The less you say, the better. Be professional and be more modest with your social media. Once you say something on your profile, you can’t take it back.
Based on the previous categories and suggestions, your attorney fees could either be much cheaper or much more expensive. Overall, be careful with what you post.
Division of Property
“The Family Code requires the parties to make full and complete disclosure of all assets, debts, material facts and information, income and expenses”. Remember: if you claim you’ve submitted all evidence of your wealth, but leave something out, you could be in some trouble.
This especially includes posting a picture on Facebook of your withheld asset(s). This could even include a business set up as a Facebook page or some evidence showing you invested in a business.
Best advice? The other party will use everything he or she can against you, to maintain a strong position.
It almost feels like beating a dead horse, but all five of these areas have one thing in common: be careful with your Facebook account, be extremely aware of the consequences, and take it 100% seriously. People can find anything they want about you online, and social media is no different than a Google search in that way. The less you say, the better.
Aside from following this advice, we also encourage you to look into hiring an experienced attorney to help your case. Following this advice is a defensive strategy, but having an attorney on your side to get you a favorable case is an offensive strategy. Just like in many sports, it’s important to have both strategies here.
That said, it’s important to have a caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable attorney to guide you along the way. At Southern Oaks, Lafayette family law attorney Taylor Fontenot believes his role is to protect your rights and interests while simultaneously working with everyone involved in order to minimize collateral damage and resolve disputes timely and efficiently. Contact Taylor today!