Facebook — The New “Exhibit A” in Divorce

Who isn’t using Facebook, Twitter, or some other form of social networking these days?  When I review an intake form, I cannot help myself from looking at the box which shows my client has a MySpace, Match.com, Twitter, Facebook, or some other online account that isn’t so innocent.

 

Then, I experience “flashbacks,” “PTSD” or something of the sort. I remember when I was in court, sitting at counsel table, along with my client who looked like a great “Exhibit A” in a pair of khaki pants, dockers and a white shirt.  I was feeling pretty good about the case until the other attorney handed me a stack of my client’s Facebook postings. I never saw a case bottom out so quickly!!! 

The picture that I was painting for the Court and the picture that Facebook was painting were contradictory. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Facebook won! My client no longer looked like the parent of the year! Facebook showed him to be a womanizing, partying fool who had a string of relationships and scantily clad women. Each of these women had postings of their own terms of endearment for my client. Then, there were the pictures of all the alcohol, partying and tattoos. Facebook proved to be a gold-mine for the other attorney. I had never heard of Facebook until that day in Court! What an eye-opener! 

This social networking evidence is often the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you are on-line with a play-by-play of your day, posting all day long when you are supposed to be exercising visitation with your kids, what are your kids doing while you are online? You were late picking the kids up for visitation on Saturday morning, and guess what, you post about your all-nighter and hang-over on Friday night. (Never mind that you are a reformed alcoholic, who quit drinking, and told the Court so in a sworn affidavit that has been previously filed by your attorney!) 

Sometimes while going through a divorce or a separation, it is easy to brag about your newly found freedom, romances, and conquests. A post or two of the new girlfriend on your lap with a neon light in the background is sure to get your ex mad! Maybe your ex will even want you back! Although those thoughts may result in momentary happy hormones as your fingers fly across the keyboard, and you hit “post,” your attorney may be less than enthusiastic about your creativity. What happens when you bring your new girlfriend to Court to testify, and she is dressed in a conservative suit that would made Jackie O proud? All of a sudden, your new girlfriend does not look so stellar on the witness stand when the opposing counsel introduces the photo of her at the local tavern.

Below are good rules of thumb to follow when posting on social networking sites while going through a divorce or custody battle:

RULE 1: DO NOT POST ANY INFORMATION UNLESS YOU COULD SHARE THAT SAME INFORMATION WITH YOUR GRANDMOTHER, YOUR PASTOR, AND GRADE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL.

RULE 2:  IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, POST NOTHING!

Even if you think your posting is innocuous, think again – a judge may be reading it some day!

Divorce, Facebook and Social Networking

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments are closed.