Did you know that your social media posts may be used as evidence against you in the court? A Family Law case in New York decided on March 19, 2019, ruled that status updates, location tags, private messages and even comments can be used as evidence to determine your suitability for custody.
This is because these posts may be used to determine your character. If the court finds your posts to be negative or offensive, this raises concerns about how you may interact with your child. The court may even subpoena the relevant social media platform, such as Facebook, to gather information that may be used against you. The following are ways to help your case:
1. Don’t Vent Online
It’s always tempting to rant about our current circumstances or criticize people who we believe have wronged us. This will only hurt your case more. Avoid posting negative content during and even after your case.
2. Party Responsibly
Try your best to appear responsible. Posts that show you drinking or using drugs are more likely to hurt your character. If you do party, do so safely and privately.
3. Monitor Your Child’s Social Media
If you have children that are old enough to have a social media account, their post may affect your divorce and custody case. Speak to your child about being safe online and monitor their account consistently. Be open with them about the seriousness of the legal process and urge them to refrain from posting details about the case online, because you may also be liable for any negative or age inappropriate content your child posts.
You want the court to believe that you have your child’s best interest at heart. Before you share on social media think critically and ask yourself, do I want a judge to see this? Employing this approach of thinking critically before posting, and even limiting what you post or staying away from social media, would assist you in successfully navigating custody or divorce proceedings.
Ultimately, in order to successfully navigate custody or divorce proceedings in this digital era, it is best practice to refrain from venting online; party responsibly; monitor your child’s social media accounts, and think critically before posting; or stay away from social media during.