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Social Media Is Information For The Other Side

Social media has given everyone a platform to express themselves. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are free and accessible sounding boards for personal moments, thoughts, and expressions. While they can be excellent communication tools, they also introduce significant challenges in a family law case. In custody and visitation proceedings as well as proceedings for monetary support, social media content has emerged as a potent resource for the opposing side, transforming each post, image, and comment into potential evidence. We wanted to explain how it can be used against you so that you can prevent future issues. 

Social Media as Evidence in Custody and Support Cases

In jurisdictions like Virginia, social media content is admissible evidence in family law cases, if the proper foundation is laid. This includes posts about your financial position, parenting capabilities, and personal relationships. These can be dissected to support or undermine claims made during your case. Private accounts are not beyond scrutiny. Courts may compel individuals to grant access to their social media content if it is pertinent to the case. Someone with access to your private profile (someone you have given permission) can provide screenshots of what you post to the opposing side. 

A seemingly innocent photo of a new purchase or a holiday trip can inadvertently contradict claims of financial distress. That could impact decisions regarding support. Similarly, posts that portray risky or irresponsible behavior can be used to question a person’s fitness as a parent, which can influence custody arrangements. Furthermore, derogatory or inflammatory comments about the other party can sway the court’s perception.

Social media makes it very easy to publish something potentially incriminating or that speaks against your character—especially when it is taken out of context. It is a silent witness to your lifestyle, relationships, and mind. Every like, share, and comment can become part of a your custody and support case. As a result, understanding the impact of your online presence is crucial.

Navigating Social Media During a Custody or Support Case

Given the potential influence of social media on family law proceedings, it is essential to exercise caution on these platforms. Privacy settings provide a degree of protection, but they are not infallible. As previously mentioned, mutual friends can still share content with the opposing party, and deleted posts might be retrievable and used in court.

It is paramount for individuals undergoing a divorce to think carefully about their social media activity and consider the legal ramifications. Before you send an email, text, or create a social media post, ask yourself whether you would want a judge to read it. Divorces are emotional, and don’t publish something out of anger that you cannot take back. Impulsive deletion of posts or comments can also be perceived negatively by the court, possibly interpreted as an attempt to hide evidence. Therefore, talk with your attorney before changing your social media pages, ensuring that your online activities do not inadvertently harm your case.

Connect with Norton Pelt

Navigating a divorce is a challenge, but it can be made even more complex because of how social media can factor into your legal proceedings. At Norton Pelt, we bring a deep understanding of divorce law, along with a comprehensive knowledge of how social media content can influence a case. Our team is dedicated to providing substantial support, guidance, and a personalized approach to ensure that your interests are protected. Scheduling a consultation with us means taking a crucial step towards handling your divorce with the assurance and support you need. We are here to stand by your side, protect your rights, and work tirelessly towards achieving the best possible outcome for you.

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Norton Pelt, PLC

We work hard to ensure we provide the best legal experience possible and make it a priority to get to know each client so we can help you through virtually every type of legal event you may go through.

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