YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE VS. COURT'S IMAGE
Your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts display an image of you to the public. In family law court, you are attempting, through evidence and testimony, to also establish an image of yourself to the presiding judge. It is very important to make sure that both the social media image you portray and your court image is in syncha and match. You should not post anything on social media that damages the image you are trying to present to the family law judge. Put in your mind that everything you post online, every comment, every photo, every meme, will be blown up in size, literally, and shown to the judge during a trial or during other hearings.
CHILD CUSTODY CASES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are seeking custody of your child, your family lawyer will enter evidence and establish that your child will be safe and secure in your home. You want to portray yourself as reliable, concerned and mature. A good parent. If your Facebook or Instagram posts do not jive with this, then it may harm your custody case. So, stick away from posting photos of you drinking shots while out at 3:00 a.m. or posts about legalizing pot. In a custody case, such posts will 100% be used against you in court by your spouse’s attorney if it will benefit your spouse. In 2020, a Florida judge temporarily suspended all timesharing for a mother who posted photos of her and a couple friends at a beach during the COVID-19 quarantine. The Husband’s attorney filed a motion and attached the Facebook posts to the motion.
ALIMONY CASES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are requesting the family law court to award you alimony, or your spouse is requesting a large alimony award, then be cautious what you post on social media. Posts of exorbitant expenditures, such as high-priced jewelry, expensive vacations, expensive cars, or posting about receipt of a large inheritance, may indicate that you have sufficient money to pay a large alimony award, or if you are seeking alimony, that you must not need alimony if you are able to purchase high end items.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND DATING DURING A DIVORCE
If you are dating another during your divorce,, think about posting photos or videos of you and your girlfriend or boyfriend. A divorce case could be over in a relatively short period of time. Many divorce cases settle within 4-6 months (although a fair share do not). Wait to post. You will have a lifetime to do so. Oftentimes, husbands and wives take issue with their spouses new love interests when they should not. Posting photos on Facebook will not help the situation and may add fuel to the fire and delay the case. The author of this article believes that probably 90% or more of all spouses routinely check the social media accounts of their spouses during a divorce.
TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK DURING A DIVORCE
Veteran divorce lawyers advocate for taking a social media break during a divorce case. You can shut down your social media accounts temporarily or simply promise yourself to not post anything. This way you can completely avoid posting items that may impact and possibly delay the resolution of your divorce case. Further, remember, all divorce attorneys are paid by the hour. Having to respond to letters and motions regarding social media posts, or having to prepare for and attend family court hearings before judges, etc. may cause unnecessary fees and cots. Doing so may make it harder to keep the case focused and difficult to keep the costs of the divorce down.
If you cannot refrain from social media posting then think before you post in social media during a divorce case.
Your Social Media May Affect Your Divorce & Custody: Take a Break During a Divorce
When posting on social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it is very easy to get into trouble in divorce court by things you may post about your spouse. Think before you post in social media during a divorce case. Your social media posts will surely be reviewed by your soon-to-be ex spouse, his or her family members and likely your spouse’s divorce lawyer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Nies, Esq.
The author, Tim Nies, is a South Florida divorce attorney with offices in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Stuart and Deerfield Beach, Florida. He may be reached at 800-650-1243.
Copyright Van Riper & Nies Attorneys, P.A.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.