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A warning about family law cases and social media

Many of us use social media as a way to stay in contact with friends and loved ones and keep up to date with current events. But social media can be used for negative purposes, too, especially if you are going through divorce or another family law proceeding.

We have all said or done something without thinking through the possible consequences. The problem with making this mistake on social media is that the mistake is there for the world to see, oftentimes permanently.

Just take the case of politicians or celebrities who make a major mistake on social media and immediately delete it, only to find out that thousands of people already took a screenshot.

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to using social media while involved in a family law case is to avoid posting something if you wouldn’t want the judge presiding over your case to see it. Here are a few examples of what not to do, and how these slip ups can be held against you.

1. You post a photo to Facebook showing yourself drinking or using drugs. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, it’s very possible that the other parent could use the photo as evidence to suggest that you have a drinking or drug problem, which can really hurt your case.

2. You let your emotions get the best of you and fire off nasty tweets about your ex. Family law judges appreciate when parties show respect for one another, and they really dislike it when one party is going out of his or her way to bad mouth the other party.

3. You tell the court you’re broke but “check in” at a luxury department store. Your ex’s lawyer can use evidence like this show suggest to the court that you are not being truthful about your financial situation, and you really don’t want the judge to think you are dishonest.

Because we can all get carried away in the heat of the moment, many family law attorneys recommend taking a break from social media while your case is pending.

At the very least, it’s important to change your settings to make sure your profiles are secure so that the other party’s lawyer doesn’t have access to the things you have posted last week or last year.

Keep reading for additional tips on social media usage during family law proceedings.

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