It is no joke that lawyers regularly use text messages and emails between the parties to a divorce as evidence against the opposing party. It is becoming just as common to submit as evidence to the Judge print outs of a party’s entire Facebook home page, Twitter feed, Instagram feed, screen shots of Snapchat photos, and many other social media information. Even the geographical tag associated with a photo posted online can provide information for opposing counsel to show a party is lying about where they were on a particular date.
The advice we give most often is to get off social media until your divorce is done. If you can’t live without it, do a full review of all your privacy settings in all social media accounts to ensure you understand who can see what and post where. Safeguard your passwords and change them often. Exercise the highest level of restraint when you post on social media and remember anything you post can be screen shot and preserved in only a second or two. Do not rely on the trust with your followers, friends, or connections as there are many people willing to screen shot your page for their other friend who may be blocked from seeing your information. Don’t check-in on Facebook or Yelp, don’t post photos of your social activities. The right place to present photos of you and your children is directly to the court during your testimony or directly to your friends and family. Turn off the Find My Friends feature if you have an apple iPhone and remember your child’s phone may also have such a feature that the other parent has access to from their own system.
Think about what you send in an email or text to family, friends and the other party. It can be admitted to the court during the process of your divorce. You do not want to be the party having to explain why the text message does not really mean what it says. At the same time, you can preserve all the messages and emails from your spouse/former spouse and provide those to your attorney for review.
Controlling what you say and how you say it is an important portion of your divorce case and if you have minor children it will continue to be important as the same information that can affect your divorce can also affect your time sharing and Parenting Plan. This goes for online speech and in person communication. Be the parent that shows restraint, patience, and good judgment.