New Jersey Family Law Firm: Social Media – DOs and DON’Ts When Going Through a Divorce or Custody Battle
Everyone “likes” social media – the constant connections, the catching up with friends, the keeping up with trends – but when going through a divorce or when in the middle of a custody battle, social media can be a dual edged sword. At Lyons & Associates, we specialize in all things family law, and we find that in more and more cases, social media comes into play during divorces and custody battles.
Here are a just a few examples of social media postings that have been collected and used against people in court:
- Postings about social activities during work hours when employment or job searches are in dispute.
- Pictures or references to alcohol, drugs, or “partying” during parenting time when custody is an issue.
- Dating advertisements or profiles where people set forth their income and it does not match what they state to their ex or the judge.
- A woman posting her happiness to her friends about her new Prada shoes while her request for alimony was pending in court (she had told the judge that she was “barely making ends meet” and needed more money from her ex).
In each of the above scenarios, by the time the litigant realized his/her mistake, it was too late. So, with that said, here are some crucial dos and don’ts:
DO be careful who your “friends” are. Maybe you have “unfriended” your ex, but if someone your ex knows still has access to your postings, that person can easily print things out and forward them to your ex or your ex’s attorney.
- DO pay attention to what your ex is posting on social media. You might be surprised as to what you find.
- DO alert your attorney if you have made some poor social media judgments in the past so that your counsel can be prepared to defend you in case the issue comes up.
- DON’T post anything on social media sites that you would not want a judge to see or that you would not want read in open court.
- DON’T post embarrassing pictures or references to drugs, alcohol, or any other dangerous activity.
- DON’T post anything that might go against what you have been telling a judge in other places. Remember those Prada shoes?
Contact the New Jersey Family Law Firm of Lyons & Associates
If you or someone you know has questions about the impact of social media on their divorce or custody battle, call one of the skilled lawyers at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777, or fill out our online intake form.
Written by: Theresa A. Lyons