Think Before You Post: How Social Media Can Harm Your Divorce
Social media networks present unique dangers to your divorce and child allocation proceedings. In criminal or personal injury cases, clients are often advised to make their profiles private so that investigators or insurance companies cannot see their posts or profiles. In divorce and child allocation actions, making your social media private may not be enough of a protective measure because there is a greater likelihood that your account is connected with other people involved in your case, including friends and family members.
When you are involved in a divorce-related legal matter, consider adjusting the privacy settings of your social media accounts. In addition to making your profile private, you may also wish to limit your posting to social media. You should keep in mind that anything you post to social media could eventually be presented in your family law proceedings. Common examples may include:
- Posts speaking negatively about the other party or his or her family;
- Posts about alcohol or drug consumption;
- Posts that could make it appear that your children are not being properly cared for or supervised;
- Posts about assets that have been undisclosed; and
- Posts that address potential new romantic involvements.
It is wise to keep in mind that updates and photos that may seem innocent or benign can be used as evidence against you. Social media posts are little more than a snapshot of a moment in time and, when taken out of context, may send mixed messages.
For example, if you posted on Facebook, “It's noon, and I'm just waking up,” the other party may use such a post as an indication that you are not taking care of your children. In reality, you could have been up all night with a sick child, or your child could be enjoying a weekend with his or her grandparents. Social media posts can easily be taken out of context and spun to make you appear less credible or unfit as a parent.
The Bottom Line
Before you post anything to social media, think about if what you want to post is worth jeopardizing your case. Consider how the message might be taken by someone looking to gain an advantage over you. To be safe, always assume that your posts are going to be read by a judge. This will help you decide whether or not the post is a good idea.
Before You Press “Delete”
If you are thinking about deleting previous posts, it is advised that you seek counsel. Deleting old messages and social media content may be prohibited by law under the concept of “spoliation.” Spoliation is the destruction or alteration of material evidence. You could be sanctioned for deleting certain pieces of evidence from your social media accounts if you are enjoined from doing so.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney
If you are concerned about your social media profiles and how they may affect your divorce-related proceedings, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney. Call Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC at 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation today.