According to Statista, 81% of the U.S. population is currently on social media. If you’re one of those nearly 3 billion social media users and are going through a complicated divorce, there are a few things to consider.
Here are some common ways social media, digital communication and other online sites can impact divorce case.
Once things are online, they are out there forever. Instead of hiring a private investigator, people can find out details about your life and lifestyle easily online.
While we recommend being utterly transparent about your income during legal matters, we understand that sometimes things fall through the cracks and other times things may not appear what they seem. Your claim about not having a current income may be disputed if your spouse’s attorney presents recent photos of you taking elaborate vacations or a Facebook post about your day at work.
Did you know that text messages and emails are admissible in court? Those angry text messages you typed out to your ex? Don’t hit send. The email where you explicitly said they aren’t getting a dime can all be used in court.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have a social life, but when that social life is on social media it may convey the wrong message to a judge. Pictures or statuses that show a party lifestyle or posts where you are at a bar on the night your child is with you can all be used by the opposing attorney to make you seem like the wrong choice for child custody.
Dating websites may be the perfect way to prove you or your former spouse’s infidelity. If a lawyer can prove you were actively pursuing romantic relationships outside of your marriage before separating, this could mean trouble for your divorce case.
If in litigation, you should assume that anything you say, text, email, or post on social media could potentially be used against you in court. The Texas Rules of Evidence allow an opposing party’s statement to be admissible in a court of law. In any family law case, emotions are involved, especially when you are fighting with family members, but it is important to remember to watch your language because the last thing you want is something to be played in front of a judge or jury that could potentially hurt your case. We always tell our clients to assume that any phone conversation can and will be recorded. If you think the other side will not search through old text messages, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, or E-mails for evidence, you are wrong.
Rule of Thumb: Assume everything you communicate to the other side could be used against you in court.
If you are considering a divorce, Bineham and Gillen can help. Our team of attorneys has experience working with all aspects of family law from divorce to child custody and more. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Contact a San Antonio divorce lawyer today.