Today’s world is more connected and instantaneously accessible than ever thanks to inventions like the smartphone, Wi-Fi, and social networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a host of other online sites have offered people the ability to connect and interact with each other in ways that often are impossible away from their computer or smartphone screens. As a result, these online actions have begun to pervade into real-world scenarios, including divorce cases.
Today, social media plays a role in an increasing number of divorce cases; sometimes as the root cause of the divorce, and many others as evidence of behavior during the case. Remember, just because someone isn’t “friends” with you on Facebook, doesn’t mean what you post isn’t readily available to the public, and what you say could very easily be used against you throughout the litigation process.
Our New York divorce attorneys have compiled a brief list of do’s and don’ts for social media usage during a divorce case, which they discuss on this blog.
- DO consider going “dark” entirely. This may seem absurd and even archaic in today’s modern age, but staying off of social media entirely for the duration of your case can prevent you from accidentally damaging your case.
- DO think carefully about everything you post. Consider the worst-case scenario: how can the words you are about to be put into the public sphere be twisted and used against you? If you think there is any way it can harm your case, you’re better off just not posting it all.
- DO keep track of what pictures you are “tagged” in. Even a seemingly-innocuous photo of a toast at a wedding could be used by a malicious ex as an example of your “heavy drinking” and lack of responsibility when arguing for child custody. For the duration of your case, consider revoking your friends’ ability to tag you in pictures.
- DO keep track of your privacy settings and user terms of service. Make sure you are using the most secure settings possible so you can limit who has access to your page to only those who you trust.
- DO review your friends list and consider removing anyone who may harm your case by having access to your profile. Remember, even though you have your profile blocked off as much as possible to non-friends, those who are friends can still access anything you post, and potentially give the info to people who will use it against you.
- DON’T share the details of your case online with anyone, for any reason. Even if it’s just in a private message, the info is still in a place where anyone with the right password could easily access it, and potentially damage your case. Only discuss your case in person.
- DON’T tell everyone you know about your case, as the words you say about it could then be used as testimony against you. Exercise extreme discretion with who you choose to confide in regarding your case, even avoiding discussing it with any outside parties entirely if you can.
- DON’T post anything that would “poison the well” regarding your ex or your case. Don’t bad-mouth them, the judge, the system, or anything related to this, as it will reflect poorly on your character and likely cause serious harm to your arguments.
- DON’T share attorney-client communications at all, for any reason, ever. Your status or tweet should never include the words “My attorney said…” because this is a massive breach of protocol. In addition to this being extremely poor judgement, you could be waiving your attorney-client privilege, which is crucial to your obtaining a positive outcome in your case, particularly a hotly-contested one.
You should not hesitate to retain an attorney to help you navigate through the complex legal system that is a divorce case. At Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, we put our more than 40 years of combined experience and dedication to work for all of our clients with just one goal in mind: to help families. We have handled thousands of family law matters ranging from divorce to child custody to property division. We understand the need for solid, reliable legal representation during a family law issue, and we strive to help you and your family get through your case with a prompt and satisfying conclusion.For quality representation in your divorce case, call Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today at (347) 848-1850.