Using Social Media Posts as Evidence in a Divorce
Social media has become an inescapable part of life for many people across the world. People freely share photos, articles, videos and status updates with family, friends, acquaintances and, in some cases, complete strangers online all the time.
When you’re going through a divorce, however, it’s important to be careful about what you share online, because your postings can be used as evidence against you.
For example, if you believe your spouse has been having an affair, certain interactions or postings on social media can be used as evidence in alimony claims. Or, if your spouse frequently shares photos or videos of activities or a general lifestyle that indicates his or her unfitness to be a parent, that could be significant evidence in a child custody or child support action.
Producing the evidence
Not everything someone posts on social media constitutes evidence that can be used in a divorce claim. The online activity must be relevant to your case.
If the posts have been made public, you can simply log into the social network and make copies yourself. However, if the posts are not public, you might need to submit a formal discovery request to obtain the information contained on social media profiles. You can request all postings within a certain date range, or for postings made on specific dates. You could also specifically request any posts made about you or your children, so long as these requests are reasonable.
While you don’t have to delete your social media accounts during a divorce, it’s something to consider. At the very least, you should set all of your accounts to private and minimize what you share while your divorce is pending. If you’re going to go the deletion route, it’s better to delete or deactivate your entire account than it is to keep the account but delete all of its activity, as that could look like you are concealing evidence.
To learn more about how social media can be used in a divorce case, work with an experienced divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.