You’ve probably already heard about how social media can damage a court case. A person with a back injury who is suing, for example, might lose their case because there is a video on social media showing them lifting weights. Although this does happen, it’s important to understand that social media posts can damage a case and cause problems in many areas of law, including family law matters. This effect is not limited to civil lawsuits and insurance claims.
If you are or will be part of a family law case, it’s important to understand just how your social media use can have a negative impact on the case’s outcome. Your family law attorney may even suggest you stay off of social media to be on the safe side for now, but if you can’t resist, take special note of the kind of mistakes that can land you in hot water.
Posting things that are untrue
The truth always comes out, and that’s true in your family law case. While it can be tempting to lie or exaggerate in your social media posts because you think it may help your case, the opposite is true. In the eyes of the judge on your case, this behavior can make you an untrustworthy individual, and the last thing you want is to have a judge that doesn’t believe what you say. This can cause trouble with your friends and family, too, as they may feel misled and betrayed by you.
Harassing, stalking or making threats
If you feel the need to vent about the other parties involved in your family law case, do so in person with a trusted family member or friend only. Never engage in any stalking or harassing on your social media pages, and do not post threats, either. Even if they are just words, it will still make you come off as a potentially unstable person to the judge. In some cases, these types of behaviors can even lead to criminal charges.
Bragging about what you have
This one may sound funny, but it can have an impact on more than one type of family law case. If you are boasting about expensive purchases and trips on social media during your divorce, for example, it could lead your ex to believe you are hiding assets. If you are doing so during a spousal support court, this evidence can be used to suggest you do not need the support you are requesting. Even a harmless treat for yourself that you normally would not buy and saved up for could cause you problems, so it’s best not to engage in bragging like this on social media.
Sharing information only you know about your spouse or other family members involved
It can be very tempting to post private and sensitive information only you know about a person involved in your family law case. It can, for example, seem like a great way to “get back” at your spouse during a divorce or your co-parent during a custody battle. However, this will likely backfire on you. It can lead the judge to view you in a negative light, which isn’t worth the temporary satisfaction you may feel after posting it.
Your best bet is to avoid social media during your family law case so you don’t make a mistake that you can’t take back. If you feel you must use it, be very careful about what you post as anyone can and will be able to access those posts later.