When posting on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is easy to get into trouble if you do not use proper etiquette. Think before you post in social media during a divorce case. Your social media posts will surely be reviewed by your soon-to-be ex spouse, his or her family members and likely your spouse’s divorce attorney.
Your Social Media Image vs. Court Image
Your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts display an image of you to the public. In court, you are attempting, through evidence and testimony, to also establish an image of yourself to the judge. It is very important to make sure that both the social media image your court image is in synch and match. You should not post anything on social media that harm the image you are trying to present to the family law judge. Put in your mind that everything you post online, every comment, every photo, every meme, will be blown up in size and shown to the judge in court.
Child Custody Cases and Social Media
If you are seeking custody of your child, your family lawyer will enter evidence and establish that your child will be safe and secure in your home. You want to portray yourself as reliable, concerned and mature. If your Facebook or Instagram posts do not mirror this, then it may harm your custody case. So, stick away from posting photos of you drinking shots of Patron while out at 3:00 a.m. or bragging about smoking pot. In a custody battle, such posts will 100% be used against you in court by your spouse’s attorney. In 2020, a Broward county judge temporarily suspended all timesharing for a mother who posted photos of her and a couple friends at the beach during the COVID-19 quarantine. The Husband’s attorney filed a motion and attached the Facebook posts to the motion.
Alimony Cases and Social Media
If you are requesting the court to award you alimony, or your spouse is requesting a large alimony award, then be cautious what you post on social media. Posts of exorbitant expenditures, such as high-priced jewelry, expensive vacations, pricey car, or posting about receipt of a large inheritance, may indicate that you have sufficient money to pay a large sum of alimony, or if you are seeking alimony, that you must not need alimony if you are able to purchase high end items.
Dating During Divorce and Social Media
If you are dating another during your divorce case, you should think twice about posting photographs or videos of you and your girlfriend or boyfriend. A divorce case could be over in a relatively short period of time. Many divorce cases settle within 4-6 months. Wait to post. You will have a lifetime to do so. Oftentimes, husbands and wives take issue with their spouses new love interests when they should not. Posting photographs will not help the situation and may add fuel to the fire and delay the case. The author of this article believes that probably 90% or more of all spouses routinely check the social media accounts of their spouses during a divorce.
Take a Social Media Break
Veteran divorce lawyers highly advocate taking a social media break during a divorce case. You can shut down your social media accounts temporarily or simply promise yourself to not post anything. This way you can completely avoid posting items that may impact and possibly delay the resolution of your divorce case. Further, remember, all divorce attorneys are paid by the hour. Having to respond to letters and motions regarding social media posts or having to attend hearings before judges, etc. may cause unnecessary fees and cots. Doing so may make it harder to keep the case focused and difficult to keep the costs of the divorce down. If you cannot refrain from social media posting then think before you post in social media during a divorce case.
The author, divorce attorney Tim Nies, has a strong reputation in Florida and is known for his trial skills and not permitting husbands or wives, nor their attorneys, to bully his clients during divorce cases. For more information about social media and divorce, you may reach him at 800-650-1243. Our law firm has offices in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and Stuart, Florida.