Think Before You Post: The Role Of Social Media In Family Law

With statistics showing that 74% of online adults use a social media website, it should come as no surprise to learn that what you post can have an effect on your professional life. Employers have started to use social media websites to screen job applicants, and family law attorneys are following suit.

Here are three ways that social media posts are being used in family law litigation.

1. Evidence of Actions

With divorce rates climbing in the United States, many couples are opting to protect their assets through prenuptial agreements. In a survey distributed to members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 63% of those who responded reported that they are seeing an increase in the number of couples requesting prenuptial agreements.

In the event of a divorce, social media posts can be used as evidence of actions that are in violation of the terms of a prenup. Incriminating photographs or messages can be used by opposing council to prove that a spouse has been unfaithful, so it's important to carefully monitor your social media accounts for any information that could be construed as a violation of your own prenup during divorce proceedings.

2. State of Mind

Child custody battles can become heated when a divorce turns bitter. In order to determine which parent should be awarded custody of the children, a judge can take information found on social media accounts into consideration. Posts made to social media pages can be used to determine a parent's state of mind.

If your page is filled with posts of you and your friends enjoying nightclubs or engaging in inappropriate activities, you could find that your state of mind will be called into question during a custody battle. Be sure that you keep images and posts to your social media accounts family-friendly.

3. Communication

It's important that you carefully monitor your communication while going through a divorce. Spreading rumors about your spouse or venting through social media could prove detrimental to your case should your divorce go to court.

Lawyers can use both public and private messages sent through social media websites as evidence against you when it comes to proving you have engaged in slanderous behavior. Be sure to avoid any communication about your spouse in public forums while in the midst of your divorce.

Understanding the impact your activities on social media websites can have on your divorce proceedings is important. Be sure that you aren't posting information that can be used as evidence of actions that violate your prenup, an unstable state of mind, or slanderous communications.

To learn more, contact a family law attorney in your area.