During the day, you might not think twice before hopping on social media and chatting with your friends or family members. You might post about that upcoming event, ask for advice, or show off that new boat. Although your simple posts might seem innocent and inconsequential, your social media statements could be used against you in divorce court. In fact, according to one survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of attorneys who responded stated they had used or come across social media evidence. Here are two ways your social media account could work against you in court, and how you can stay out of trouble:
1: Who You Were With
If you had an affair, your extra-marital relationship could have serious consequences in court. For example, if you took out a loan based on a marital asset to support your mistress, those financial damages might be taken into account when assets are divided. If you picked up an STD from an affair and spread it to your spouse, you might even be slapped with an additional personal injury lawsuit. However, your affair might be difficult for your future ex to prove unless, of course, you decided to use social media.
As you are out and about in the world, you never know who is snapping photos and tagging you in posts. For example, if you took your fling to a work party, your co-worker might tag you and your date in a post that doesn't show up in your feed. Unfortunately, once pictures have been taken and people have been tagged, it can be hard to remove damning evidence. If screen shots have been taken of previous posts, that image can be admitted into evidence to show who you were with and what you were doing.
If you know that you are facing an imminent divorce, try to stay away from social media and ask your friends not to tag you in posts. Better yet, stay on the straight and narrow. You never know who is watching and what might be said about you online.
2: Your Day-to-Day Schedule
Do you have kids? If so, your divorce proceedings might also determine who will act as the custodial parent and who will be required to pay child support. As your lawyers argue your case, your personal level of responsibility and ability to parent will almost certainly come into play. However, social media can also be used to prove your day-to-day schedule, which could contradict with your side of the story.
For example, what will you do if you forgot to pick your kids up, but you have a slew of social media posts stating that you beat another level of your favorite online game? What will you say when the judge asks you why you were posting about being drunk at 10 in the morning?
As you use social media, remember that anything you say could be used to argue a point in court. In addition to proving your daily routine, your posts could be used to show patterns, intent, and general attitudes. Before you use social media during your divorce, think carefully about what someone could say about each statement. It might seem like a hassle, but a little forethought could save you from tripping over your words later.
To streamline your case, talk with your lawyer about the types of things that you should and shouldn't say online. He or she might be able to give you helpful tips for how to avoid problems in court. By working with your attorney, you can keep your social media account from destroying your case. Websites like http://www.hartlawofficespc.net can help if you need more information about this issue.Share
25 February 2015
Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.