If you are going through a divorce or custody battle and have a Facebook page you need to be on high alert. Even the most innocent picture of you holding a beer can be used as evidence at trial that you are an alcoholic. Your EX likely has access to your page even if you have a private page. You never know which one of your “friends” is really their friend as well. Go ahead and change all your account passwords for everything including banks, email, and social media. There may be hacker software on your computer or phone without you ever knowing. This applies to all forms of social media and dating sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Match.com, and Adultfriendfinder.com. Assume everything you post online or even that group pic your friend posted on their page is admissible in Court. From your relationship status on Facebook to a typo on Twitter- anything is fair game.
If you have already have a Facebook page- the safest option may be to make your profile private and stop posting new content. At the very least make sure nothing is posted you would not be proud for any employer or Judge to see. Keep in mind most Courts seem to take the approach that Facebook evidence can and will be used against you in Court.
Divorce clients in particular are always looking for the upper hand in Court. Scouring the internet for arrest records, hiring a private investigator to follow someone, or simply creating a fake profile to “friend” someone on Facebook is becoming the norm. A tweet about how good your meal is at a restaurant can be twisted in Court as evidence you can afford to pay more alimony. A pic of your new car or watch can be used as evidence of “hidden” assets in a property distribution trial. Pictures of your kids having fun at Carowinds with your new boyfriend or girlfriend can be used against you in a Child Custody trial.
Email and text messages are another area ripe for exploitation in the Courtroom. Foul language or angry outbursts can often be used to paint an unflattering picture of the opposing party. Make sure you never use obscene language or make threats to your EX that could make you look bad in Court. I always recommend that clients save all forms of communication with the opposing party. This sometimes even extends to recording phone calls and physical interactions. For this reason it is never a good idea to respond to an email or text when the other side says something that is upsetting. There is a good chance they are simply baiting you into a response to use in Court. Finally, if you win in Court- Don’t brag about how you won in Court to other people on online. A Permanent Custody Order is never really “permanent” and Judges don’t like it when you brag about winning!