It’s been one of those days. Work was frantic. Kids were crabby. And the meeting with the attorney did not proceed as planned. If only there were ways for you to vent to your all of your friends without leaving the comfort of your own home. You don’t want to pay a huge phone bill or host a grand get together to receive their words of encouragement.
You do have a mode that will help you to reach out while reclining in your favorite chair. It’s called social media. In accessing your social media account, you can share your frustrations with your community of supporters. It’s a wonderful way to kvetch and receive positive feedback within an instant.
Unfortunately, it’s also a great place amass evidence.
If you are embroiled in divorce proceedings, your accounts with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram provide a treasure trove of information that could be used against you in court. Those who are lax with privacy settings reveal data in myriad ways: photos, chat logs, videos or tweets. Even if you were to delete online posts, which would be illegal to do in preparation for a trial, most posts are warehoused on servers and can be accessed. Each attempt to document aspects of your life leaves a trail of evidence for attorneys to uncover.
For those divorcing with children, the stakes can be even higher. Attorneys can use online proof to support claims of negligence, reckless parenting or child endangerment. What may have seemed like a funny post at the time could be interpreted as an indication that a parent is unfit to qualify as a child guardian. Pictures showcasing a glitzy vacation or a recently-acquired boat may lead to cries of misstating assets. The long-term repercussions caused by a short-sighted posting will continue to be felt through the years.
The burgeoning field of “E-discovery” is facilitated by the fact that most evidence located online is admissible in court because it is believed that those posting had no expectation of privacy when they decided to update their accounts. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 66 percent of attorneys said that they turned to Facebook first when searching for evidence in a case.
Just because attorneys “like” Facebook doesn’t mean that you need to do so during your divorce.