Social media accounts are great for keeping in touch with friends and family. However, if someone is going through a divorce or a child custody dispute, he or she needs to be extra careful about what is posted online. Most Texas readers are probably aware that the Internet is playing an increasingly large part in these types of legal proceedings. Unfriending a soon-to-be former spouse won’t necessarily prevent online information from being used in court.
It is becoming more common for social media accounts, particularly Facebook, to come up in divorce proceedings. It does not always get admitted into the court records, but lawyers sometimes share the information with each other. Husbands and wives are often more forthcoming online than they are to their estranged spouses. Even if someone “unfriends” his or her spouse, mutual friends and family members can collect and share the information.
Even in a ‘no-fault divorce’ state like Texas, a person’s online activity can negatively impact his or her credibility in court. This could have a significant bearing on the outcome of a child custody case. Therefore, it is very important to use caution when posting status updates or photos online, now and in the future, since child custody needs could change down the road.
The bottom line for most people is to assume that everything they post has the potential to end up in court. Not being smart about social media use can make a divorce more stressful and acrimonious. Texas residents who want to end their marriage may benefit from seeking legal advice to ensure that they don’t do anything that can work against them in court.
Source: The Dickinson Press, “Online information often used in divorce proceedings,” Meredith Holt, July 27, 2013