Social media is an effective and fun way to stay connected with others. However, if you are not careful, this virtual lifestyle could potentially lead to self-sabotage in your family law case. Social media can offer a treasure trove of information for the other side in a legal case and has the power to potentially impact the court’s view of you.
Below are some points to keep in mind so that your virtual reality does not cause a real-life nightmare in your family law case.
- Update security settings. Make sure that your social media accounts are not public. Keep in mind different online platforms require different methods and levels of concealment.
- Review your current content. Look back through your tagged photos, posts, and links on your social media accounts.
- Minimize your online presence. Although temporarily deactivating your accounts or removing your online presence all together is safest, minimizing your number of posts is your next best option. Remember: silence can never be misquoted.
- Filter the content you post. Do not post or share anything that you would not want broadcast to the world and recorded. If you need to vent, consider a private phone call to a friend or getting together over dinner.
- Set boundaries. Depending on the level of conflict in your case, you may need to completely block or disconnect from your ex (e.g., unfriend, unfollow). However, be aware that although your ex may be blocked, others such as mutual friends, family, or colleagues may still be able to access your page and potentially relay information to them. Your safest option is to just not post or share anything that could be used against you.
- Post damaging content. Petitioning for a reduction in spousal support, but posting photos of your new golf clubs or car may get you in hot water with the court. Posts about partying, drug/alcohol references, or monetary bragging should be avoided at all costs.
- Constantly “check in” to your locations. Think twice before checking in and consider changing your settings so that others cannot automatically check you in. This can create safety concerns.
- A picture speaks a thousand words (though not always the truth).
- Even if you try to remove content, a screenshot lasts forever. Think before even posting.
- What your online activity reflects of your character could heavily impact any decisions regarding your family law case.
This blog was written by Carolina Mejia Erazo under the supervision of James J. Tiehm. James is a family law attorney at Family Law Center. He practices exclusively family law and serves the greater Sacramento area, including the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo. If you need assistance with your divorce, call James at (916) 488-5088 to schedule a consultation.