Protecting Your Family's Future
 

Your Status Update Could Come Back to Haunt You

Two years ago, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) reported that one in five divorces used evidence from Facebook and other social networking sites like Myspace and Twitter. In February 2013, the AAML reported a newly popular source of evidence in divorce cases – dating sites like Match.com and Plenty of Fish.

One would think the lesson would be obvious. If you are married or in the middle of a divorce, stay off the online dating sites. Be cautious – and truthful – with your social media comments and status updates. Apparently, though, these are not obvious lessons to four out of five divorcing spouses.

How could social media be used in divorce cases? Here are some examples:

  • Your online dating profile says you have no children and want none. Your spouse uses it as evidence in your child custody fight.
  • The vast majority of Facebook photos tagged with your name show you at a party with a drink in hand. Your spouse uses it as evidence in her argument for limited parenting time.
  • You say you have limited income and are unable to pay spousal support but post a photo or video of your new sports car.
  • A friend tags a photo of you being intimate with a new girlfriend or boyfriend, but you dispute allegations of infidelity.
  • You claim business trips or medical appointments as reasons you are unavailable for visitation with your children, but your social media posts reveal that you were in fact on vacation or in town and not at a medical appointment.
  • You update your LinkedIn status with new employment information but claim continuing unemployment as a reason you are unable to pay child support.
  • You claim you have no problems with anger management but post frequent status updates threatening physical violence.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse publishes an online fact sheet regarding privacy concerns when using social media – Social Networking Privacy: How to be Safe, Secure and Social.

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, is well-versed in obtaining and countering social media evidence in divorce cases. We have provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and family law matters for 8 years. For an initial assessment and consultation of your case, contact us online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

 
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