Getting a Divorce? Use Social Media at Your Own Riskpaulabernstein
I’m always amazed at how people will sabotage themselves by using social media in ways that could potentially get them in trouble — either with their job, their friends, or their spouse. It seems like common sense not to complain about your boss on Facebook — especially when your boss is a Facebook friend. And when you call in sick to work, don’t check in at your local beach using Foursquare.
Along those lines, it should go without saying that if you’re in the middle of a nasty divorce, you shouldn’t post anything about the new guy you’re seeing or about how you had one too many drinks the other night.
Divorce attorneys are increasingly turning to social networks to find potentially damning evidence, writes Bari Zell Weinberger, Esq. at HuffPo Divorce.
I wrote about the issue for Strollerderby back in 2010, writing that every e-mail, status update and tweet could be aired in court when it comes time for a divorce. “Divorce lawyers cite egregious examples of naughty behavior online such as the man who posts on Match.com that he’s single and childless only to later petition for sole custody of those non-existent children. Or the mom who denied smoking pot, but posts pictures of herself partying on Facebook.”
So before sharing something on a social network, ask yourself: could your words or photos be misinterpreted or used against you?
“What people don’t realize is that seemingly harmless party photos and location-based status updates can jeopardize a person’s divorce settlement, resulting in the loss of child custody, parenting time or even alimony,” writes Zell Weinberger. She cites an example:
In one of our recent cases, a female client whose divorce was settled two years ago recently submitted photos to the firm which had been posted on YouTube by her ex-husband, who had full custody of their two-year-old son. The pictures showed him and several friends drinking various alcoholic beverages during a party in his home while the minor child was present. Even though the images couldn’t prove that the ex-husband was necessarily drunk, or that the child was ever in any real danger, the photos were enough to enable our client to win a transfer of custody from her ex-husband.
Whether or not you’re going through a divorce, as a parent, there might be things you don’t want to share with the world. As I tell my tween daughter, once something is on the Internet, you can’t take it back. People could take it out of context or use it against you. In other words, think before you post, tweet, or check-in.
Photo: Shutterstock/Couple in quarrel
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