Will Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Divorce?By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
Social media can be a powerful tool and an entertaining pastime, but it has the potential to be harmful if you share too many details of your personal divorce. Like classical forms of communication such as e-mail and text messages, conversations via social media, such as posts on Facebook, Instagram direct messages, or a thread on Twitter can be admitted as evidence in divorce proceedings. Not only is this evidence admissible, many attorneys consider it a strong instrument in many family law cases, especially divorce.
Social Media Puts Your Lifestyle on Display
Social media evidence is often used in divorce trials to establish an understanding of someone’s lifestyle. Because New Jersey is a state that follows the equitable distribution of property, judges pay special attention to the context of each spouse’s lifestyle when making important decisions, such as dividing property. These days, a lawyer could pull the information you’ve shared about yourself on the internet into the courtroom. To avoid this evidence being used against you, avoid divulging personal information on social platforms during your divorce. Some common scenarios where this evidence is used are posts that show:
- A spouse acting improperly to establish them as unfit to have custody of their child
- Proof that a spouse’s lifestyle contradicts their disclosed income
- Any signs that a spouse has falsely claimed unemployment
Posts Can Be Taken Out of Context
Social media posts could also speak to your character in the courtroom. It is especially important to avoid posting aggressive, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate language on public social accounts, especially if it is directed towards your spouse. Even after a post is deleted, the digital footprint can never be erased and it may still be possible to obtain a copy of the post. Your comments can be taken out of context and used to tell a false narrative in the courtroom. Asking your friends and family to also adhere to these guidelines could also help protect your case.
Other Habits to Avoid
Some other social media habits to avoid are checking in and sharing your location with others, discussing the details of a new relationship, or providing any type of information that contradicts your testimony. The best practice is to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to help you and discuss your social media usage with your legal counsel. An attorney who understands the gravity of social media posts in New Jersey divorce cases could guide you through any difficulties. Consider contacting Moskowitz Law Group, LLC for a free consultation regarding social media and divorce with one of our skilled family law attorneys.