By John Griffith
There are more than one billion users on Facebook. That means there are lots of people who have the potential to read what you post. Posting with caution is necessary for anyone going through a divorce or custody case so there is nothing that can held against you in court.
For example, you may think if you limit the settings, your soon-to-be ex won’t see what you wrote. But far too often, your ex’s friends or cousins saw the post and printed it for your ex to see. Even after you come to your senses and delete it, your ex may already have a copy.
Sometimes all it takes is one mishap evidenced in a tagged Facebook post to send your custody case into a tailspin, especially with an aggressive attorney on the other side. When it comes to posting on social media sites it is important to use common sense. If there is one person who would be upset or use your post to their advantage — don’t write it. Perception is reality, and if your posts can be taken out of context, don’t post them.
If you have been posting negatively about someone or something, even after deletion, there is still risk of the content surfacing. Any good researcher can find something online if they know what they are looking for.
Be sure to tell your divorce lawyer up front if you have been slandering the other party on your social networking sites. It is always better that your divorce lawyer finds out from you first, no matter how embarrassing it may be.
Many times the other side will troll Facebook photos searching for non-ideal behaviors. In custody cases, an attorney can argue the other parent is unfit to be the primary caretaker of young children, based on photos found on social media sites.
Further, in financial matters or spousal support, attorneys have used Facebook posts to prove a standard of living is not being accurately documented and other issues.
If you participate in social media, really think through your comments and pictures. If something doesn’t portray you in the best possible way, it is a good idea not to post it.
John Griffith is a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass Family Law, offering assistance and representation that guides their clients through the legal process and helps protect them and their families.
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