Social Networking and Divorce – Post at Your Own Risk!
According to www.internetworldstats.com, as of June 30, 2011, the estimated population of North America is approaching 348 million people. That same site estimates the number of North Americans with a Facebook account at just shy of 168 million. This means that 48.4% of all North Americans have a Facebook account. As of September 8, 2011, Twitter reports that it has over 100 million users worldwide.
Social networking is here to stay. It may evolve – just as music did from the Walkman, to the CD, to the iPod, and the cell phone did from the “bag” phone, to the flip phone, to the mini-computers most of us carry around now – but it will be one of the trademarks of this generation. While social networking is a fun and effective way of keeping up with your friends and family, it can also be a fun and effective way for a divorce attorney to dig up evidence for your custody case.
If you are, or soon will be, involved in divorce or custody litigation, you should be cautious about what, if anything, you post on the internet, particularly on social networking sites. The last thing that any family law attorney wants to see as Exhibit 1 at a court hearing is the picture of you guzzling shots at the Jimmy Buffett concert or chugging beers at the tailgate party. Just as damaging is the Facebook post where you call your soon-to-be ex-spouse names that would make Richard Pryor cringe.
It is always best to assume that everything you say, email, or text will be used as evidence in your divorce or custody case. That is especially true when it is posted for your 567 “friends” to see. The better practice is to maintain “internet silence” at all times. It will make your life less stressful, and it will make your attorney’s job easier.