Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Social Media and Your Divorce/Custody Case/Anything Involving the Court

If you’re in the middle of a divorce or custody case, or any litigation, you should be aware that  your use of social media is going to be scrutinized. You have a few options, including logging out of, deactivating, or closing all social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Alternatively, you can make sure your accounts are private (friends only), but that does not really protect you from one of your “friends” providing your Facebook posts to the opposing party to be used against you.

  • Post pictures of you and your friends partying on a Saturday night. Even if you’ve been “tagged” in someone else’s photos, your pictures at the club or anything that can look like excessive alcohol use is not going to help your case.
  • Criticize your ex. Yes you have the right to criticize. However, it makes you look bad. Also, don’t let your friends or family members criticize your ex online. Delete the unwanted postings and try to keep it positive.
  • Post pictures of you hanging out with unsavory characters. If you’re in the middle of a custody case, it’s best not to associate with people who you know have criminal assault cases or sexual offenders.
  • Post pictures of recent vacations, new cars, etc. If you’re asking the court to decrease the amount of support that you pay because of financial hardship and the opposing party gets a hold of these pictures, your case will likely be dead in the water.
  • Give too much information. Don’t share attorney-client communications. Don’t post anything that includes “my attorney said…” You may be unintentionally waiving the attorney-client privilege that you  normally would enjoy.

The best advice: if you would be embarrassed by a judge seeing or reading the social media post in court, you should not post it. If you have any second thoughts about a picture or a post, don’t put it on your page. It’s simple.

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Rachel Luke is a attorney in the Bellevue office of Wong Fleming. Ms. Luke practices family law and represents clients on divorces, custody issues, parenting plans, child support, and more. 

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