If you are about to go through a divorce, it is important remember that your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney will be looking for evidence to help his or her client; that includes looking on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn for evidence of your lifestyle or for comments or photographs that contradict statements you are making during the process.
It isn’t all too surprising that attorneys are turning to social media websites for evidence as these websites’ popularity has escalated in recent years. According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, in the past five years 81 percent of its members had used or faced evidence collected from social media websites during divorce proceedings.
Even if evidence gained from Facebook and its ilk is making its way into divorce proceedings, evidence from these websites can only be used against you if you post information that can hurt your case. To better protect yourself and your case, consider the following social media tips:
- Privacy settings – restrict who can view your online profile by changing the privacy settings. If your privacy settings are set to public anyone with access to the Internet can view your profile.
- Posting – don’t post pictures of extravagant purchases or vacations. Nor should you post rants that trash your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In short, don’t post anything that you might later regret or that can be used against you.
- Friends – while you might have restricted your privacy settings, existing friends who can still view your profile may be reporting back to soon-to-be ex-spouse about information you post or others post about you.
Divorce is a difficult time. A time when you need your friends, people you can talk to. But remember, if you talk to them through social media, you may be also talking to you ex-spouse’s attorney. If you are considering divorce or have questions about the divorce process, speak with an experienced family law attorney.
Source: finance.yahoo.com, “Divorce lawyers: Facebook tops in online evidence” June 28, 2011.