Social media, as we know it today, began to emerge in the early 2000s. Since then, divorce proceedings have been significantly influenced by the pervasive presence of social media. Divorce cases often involve the digital footprint left behind on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. The National Law Review reports that 81% of divorce attorneys present social media evidence in court and 66% use Facebook as a primary source of evidence.
Protecting Your Rights, One Post at a Time
At Woodard & Ferguson, Attorneys at Law, we have witnessed the profound impact of social media on divorce cases. Every status update, photo, or comment is admissible in court and has the potential to be scrutinized in the legal context. It can affect everything from property division to child custody decisions in shaping the outcome of your case. If you are facing a divorce, our attorneys can guide you on what to share and avoid, knowing that every post can be used against you in a court of law. Our best advice regarding social media is to post as if it will be read aloud in court.
Tips on How to Protect Yourself in the Digital Age:
- Limit your online audience. Adjust your privacy settings to limit who has access to your social media platforms. Remember that your friends may also be friends or connected to your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
- Refrain from posting anything that may be interpreted within a legal context. A spouse may acquire information by duplicating a profile, employing a fictitious profile, or gaining access through a friend’s page.
- Do not discuss your divorce online. Publicly sharing your frustrations may lead to unforeseen and unexpected repercussions in the future.
- Refrain from derogatory remarks about your spouse or family, which can intensify conflict. Avoid interactions with your spouse online, as it may be perceived as harassment or cyberbullying.
- Preserve evidence you view on your spouse’s online activities that may be relevant to your case. Saved posts and screenshots are valuable pieces of evidence.
- It is advisable to change your passwords if your spouse has access to any of your social media accounts.
Types of Posts That May Be Used Against You
There are subtle ways that your social media posts reflect your lifestyle and can be used to undermine your case or support your spouse’s claims. Posting photos of expensive purchases or lavish vacations may be used as evidence you are misrepresenting your financial standing when you are attempting to minimize your spousal support or child maintenance.
Status updates, photos, or videos of partying, drinking, or drug use may portray you as engaging in activities that are neglectful or irresponsible when deciding parenting plans and custody agreements. Online posts of interactions with the opposite sex may be construed as evidence of adultery, even if the posts are innocent.
Other examples of digital posting you should avoid are contradictory statements, which can challenge your credibility, or vague posts that indicate hidden assets, such as undisclosed business ventures or property ownership. Be aware that social media can even serve as proof of a spouses’ violation of a restraining order.
Woodard & Ferguson: Navigating Divorce in the Digital Age
The legal team at Woodard & Ferguson takes pride in working towards amicable and cost-effective solutions for family law cases. We can help you resolve issues for all aspects of divorce, including child support, child custody and visitation, relocation, spousal support, domestic violence, property division, and post-decree modifications. In addition, we regularly handle paternity cases for unmarried parents.
Contact Woodard & Ferguson at (386) 677-0822 to schedule a confidential consultation at our Ormond Beach, Florida, office. We represent clients throughout Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, and the surrounding areas.