Castle Rock divorce attorneys know that splits are tough, and it can be tempting to vent or seek solace in your virtual community.
But use caution: A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 80 percent of divorce lawyers say they’ve seen an increase in using social media posts as evidence in court. In fact, some estimate that it has become a factor of some significance in 60 to 70 percent of divorce cases.
A lot of people assume this simply means evidence of an affair. It can mean that.
However the fact is, there are a wide range of possibilities, particularly if you are simultaneously battling for custody of the children.
Let’s say, for example, that you post pictures of yourself drinking alcohol or smoking pot. (Or even if you don’t post it, one of your friends tags you in such a photo.) This might be used by your ex to show your ability to be a safe and effective parent.
Another possibility would be if you posted photos of a recent trip or vacation that might show you are spending money from joint accounts or that you have more money than you may be letting on to the court.
Roughly 70 percent of the evidence that’s being presented in court is originating from Facebook, although you have about 15 percent that are deriving information from MySpace.
Even your private messages may not necessarily be private, as the court can actually issue a subpoena for your name and password. Now, that doesn’t happen often – typically only when the court is searching for some specific piece of information – but it is a possibility of which you need to be aware.
If you aren’t open to the possibility of deleting your accounts entirely for the time being, try to think of it this way: Anything you write, post, text or e-mail has the potential to end up as evidence in front of the judge. Screening yourself in this way may help you avoid an embarrassing, and potentially costly, mistake.