Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular social network sites are useful means to stay in touch with family and friends, and to connect with colleagues. Sometimes social media can do more harm than good and our attorneys are starting to notice that more and more people involved in a family law case are using these sites to check on the other party. These types of cases can include child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support disputes. Your behavior on social media (and even dating websites) could harm your case.
Consider the other party’s perspective
When posting on social media, you do not want to put your family law case at risk, because it could mean losing custody of your child. Avoiding social media altogether may be the better option. But, if you feel the urge to update your status on Facebook, make sure you consider a few things first. Think about the other party’s case; you do not want to post something questionable that could strengthen their argument for why you should not have custody of your children.
The other party and their legal team are probably combing through your social media presence, hoping to discover information about you that could weaken or destroy your case. Think before you post and make sure it is not something that could make the judge’s decision effortless. Practice common sense on all social networking sites, including ones that you may think are private. One of your social networking “friends” could always have access to your page and all it could take is one screenshot of an inappropriate social media post to sink your case.
Do not make the other attorney’s job easier
Social media sites and blogs can help the attorney do his or her job by providing clues about your activities and lifestyle, which may be used to disprove:
- Claims regarding responsible parenting
- Your ability to work
- Your claim that you were at a particular place at a particular time
You do not want to put the information they are looking for directly in their hands or weaken your case by demonstrating you are not capable of, for example, taking care of your children. Your reputation is at stake and the other side’s attorney can use your social media posts against you to bolster their case. Your children might innocently post damaging statements, your friends might make funny comments about you, or tag you in pictures they post, but it is crucial that you to be mindful of these things. Our attorneys at Norman Dowler LLP, prefer that you to stop using these sites, but if you must, please protect yourself.
Some guidelines for posting
Although these sites are fun and are great ways to keep in touch with others, the opposing party and their attorney can and will use these against you if possible. These are the ways you can be careful:
- Do not post anything you would not want the other party, attorney, custody evaluator, or judge to read.
- Set privacy settings and block anyone you do not know from viewing your personal pages, writing on your timeline, or tagging you in a photo.
- Do a quick Google search to see what kind of information is available to other searchers – you should expect that the other side is doing the same. Remove anything that could be detrimental to your case.
- Do not carelessly accept friend requests from other people or answer e-mails from those you do not know.
- Pass this blog along to your friends and family members and ask them to be cautious about making social posts about you on their own
- Monitor your children’s social networking posts if they are active on these types of sites as well.
Having the right team to represent you is crucial when you face a legal crisis. The experienced attorneys at Norman Dowler LLP, are prepared to handle your case with integrity and a focus on personal attention. Contact us today so we can begin helping you achieve the results you want.