Divorce and Family Law News: How Facebook Posts Can Impact Your Divorce
Are your social Media posts a Creative outlet or creative liability?
Social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and other services provide us with a creative outlet to share our lives. We share pictures, videos, and text with the world. We even have the ability to communicate through direct messages and hold conversations not publicly posted on our social media pages. All of this remains forever private, right? Not so much.
will the courts see my social media posts?
Courts routinely scrutinize social media posts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and other services, in the course of divorce and child custody proceedings. Posts where one parent disparages the other parent often work against the social media poster. This is especially true when there is a history of one parent publicly shaming the other parent. After all, if one parent routinely and publicly criticizes the other parent, a co-parenting relationship is not likely to exist post-divorce. A court could easily find the non-posting parent is better suited to work toward the child's best interests and then place the child in the non-posting parent's physical custody. The potential repercussions are real.
Will Privacy Settings help hide my social media posts?
Even if you set your social media privacy levels to the highest settings allowed in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and other services, your posts and direct messages are not necessarily private. Lawyers routinely request entire social media files. These files often contain information you thought only your friends or perhaps a potential love interest could read. In divorce and child custody cases, assume everything you posted and every direct message you sent will land on my desk.
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Trevor Jordison, law clerk with Whitfield & Eddy Law, provided research for this month’s newsletter with Tyler.