Playing it Smart in Divorce: Think Before you Post
It’s surprising the number of people who sabotage themselves by behaving badly on social media or with text messages and the like. The fact is, nine in ten divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an uptick in recent years of one party or another using saved posts and messages to disparage a former partner in divorce court. Is getting even with your ex for perceived misdeeds really worth the price you’ll have to pay if your words and images are later used to show an unpleasant side of you to a judge? Think about it!
A Few Facts…
If you’re still not convinced to use care in postings, consider this:
According to the National Law Review, more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys say they have uncovered something unseemly on a social network page that is worthwhile to present to a judge;
Two-thirds of divorce cases use evidence from Facebook to demonstrate facts;
As long as the evidence was legally gained, it is admissible in court.
Ok, so you’re feeling hurt and angry, and you think you’d get some satisfaction by letting off some steam on your Instagram account. There, for the world to see, is your state of mind, which may conflict entirely with the persona you’d like the Court to see. Or let’s say you’re more discreet in your maneuvers, and simply text or email your former spouse a few choice words. If those items make it into a courtroom and reveal you to have a maniacal or threatening edge, things aren’t going to go well for you. So instead of letting your future go up in smoke simply because you had to get something off your chest, exercise some restraint and behave yourself.
But You Deleted it?
Ok, so you realized the error of your ways and quickly deleted the unpleasant words or pictures. Unfortunately for you, if they made it to someone else’s device, that person can print it out and submit it to the court in order to show that you are a deranged maniac, a horrible parent, or a threat. And even if your ex deleted it as well, a subpoena can require the cell phone company to produce the content based on the Stored Communications Act.
A Messy Case
What you choose to add to private or public postings in text, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc, can all come back to bite you in divorce court. It can be used to indicate lies, reveal you to be an unfit parent, show how your spend your money, connect you to illegal activity, or demonstrate downright dumb or mean behavior. In other words, it can damage your claims and send the sympathy of the court quickly to your ex.
We can Help
At Courtney & Mills, our Springfield divorce attorneys have seen all sorts of shenanigans play out in divorce court. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation and let’s see what we can do to get the best possible outcomes for you. In the meanwhile, stay away from posting!