Social media posts and text messages are popular ways to communicate with family, friends, colleagues, and associates. However, they've become one of the primary sources of evidence in many family law proceedings. Over 80% of divorce lawyers reported that social media evidence is worth presenting in court.
If you're going through a divorce or custody case, you'll need to be careful what you share online and via texts. Your activities on these electronic social platforms can hurt your case in court.
Why Are Social Media and Texts Used as Evidence?
In family law proceedings, both parties are allowed to offer any evidence relevant to the case. In other words, the kind or nature of the evidence is unlimited, as long as it relates to the issue at hand.
On the other hand, electronically communicated information is easily stored, shared, and discovered. Those heat-of-the-moment posts and comments can provide information that a judge will need to decide. As such, you should expect that the other party can and will use them in court.
How Social Media Posts and Texting Impacts Divorce and Custody Cases
During divorce and custody litigations, the other party's attorney can issue subpoenas for your social media and text message activity. They'll submit evidence of communication between you and your ex or a third party that paints a negative picture of your character. Here are ways texting or social media evidence can impact your case.
Proof of Financial Standing
What if you claimed you have low income, but you regularly brag online about your expensive new car and other purchases? Your ex can use that against you, and the judge can question your income level.
Similarly, you may be in a new relationship and decide to post about how much you're spending on that person to spite your ex. However, your ex can argue that you're misappropriating the money to which they are entitled.
If you're in the middle of a divorce, especially when child support or spousal support issues are pending, think twice before you post.
Influence On Your Child Custody Case
Social media posts can be detrimental to your child custody case, such as:
- Posting pictures of you getting wasted or using drugs regularly
- Posting pictures of social events and beer bonging after texting your co-parent that you have a work engagement and can't pick up the kids
- If your social media profile reveals you're in a relationship with a registered sex offender or someone of questionable character
Your ex can use these posts to prove that you're an unfit parent. If the judge concludes that granting you custody isn't in the child's best interest, you might lose access to your kid.
Proof of Abuse
Sending abusive and harassing messages via text will only hurt your case. Texting "where are you?" forty times within an hour when you're trying to meet up for custody exchanges can be misunderstood as stalking.
Conclusion - What Should You Do?
Social media posts and text messages may only take a few seconds to type out and share. However, they can have dire implications in some divorce and custody cases. Your best action should be to avoid posting on social media till the divorce proceedings are over. If you text your ex or anyone, ensure they can't misinterpret the content.
Furthermore, contact the divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny to discuss your case. Our years of experience in family law has helped numerous clients solve their custody disputes.