Staying “connected” through social media is such a prevalent phenomenon in American culture that it is undeniably difficult to avoid interacting via social media accounts. However, there are times in life when it is arguably very beneficial to do just that. Specifically, if you are involved in a family legal dispute such as divorce or a child custody matter, it will almost certainly benefit you to stay away from social media until your dispute has resolved.
Although you may benefit from limited interactions on social media in order to access your support network, you must be very careful about what you post and how you access your social media accounts during this time. A failure to think twice before posting could lead to serious negative consequences for your legal case.
Why avoid social media right now?
Even when you have activated all available privacy settings, your social media accounts remain vulnerable to discovery. When disputes rooted in family law are in the process of being resolved, each party’s attorney may choose to submit social media posts, friend lists, photos, etc. as evidence. And even though you may feel that your social media activity is innocuous, the other parties to your dispute may feel differently.
For example, if you post a picture of a party you attended with friends, you may think nothing of it. However, if you are fighting for custody of your child, your child’s other parent may wish to use this photo as evidence that you are not responsible enough for shared custody rights. If you are in the middle of a contentious divorce, a photo of a recent purchase may be used as evidence that you are mishandling shared marital property.
If you can’t live without Facebook…
Because social media is ever-present in today’s society, you may find that you simply cannot do without it right now. If this is the case, it is important that you take care when accessing your accounts.
Think twice before posting photos, comments, a new relationship status and even “likes.” Also, when possible, choose to private message trusted loved ones instead of broadcasting your feelings to your wider network. This is especially important if you need to communicate about your child or your child’s other parent.