In the modern age of social media, most people have a smartphone and are constantly updating the world on every last detail of their personal lives. As a result, many users often forget or ignore the potential effects social media status updates and posted pictures can actually have from a legal standpoint.
There are numerous ways social media can be used to a client’s advantage in family court — or worse, to his detriment. Therefore, it has become increasingly important for people (particularly those who could soon find themselves involved in a legal proceeding) to consider the potential repercussions before posting. Here are just a few ways social media accounts can serve as treasure troves of evidence against one party or another for a Miami family law attorney:
- To prove a party’s dishonesty in financial disclosures. For example, if one person claims to be unemployed or only earning enough to barely scrape by, but then posts on social media pictures of his or her brand new Porsche or latest expensive vacation. This information can be imputed by the court, and both alimony and child support guidelines could be affected.
- To prove a party’s infidelity. When a party posts pictures of his new significant other, those photos will be time and date stamped when uploaded. This information could later be taken into consideration when a court decides whether or not alimony should be awarded to the other party.
- To prove whether a party is a suitable full-time custodial parent. If one individual is posting photos under the influence during a specific time when he or she is supposed to be taking care of the children, that information will raise a red flag if presented in the proceedings.
The best way to avoid potential problems created by social media is to stop using it when a legal proceeding is foreseeable. Or better yet, simply use common sense when you post at all times. Keep in mind that once the litigation has begun you should not delete your account, as this action can be treated as the willful destruction of evidence.
A Miami family law attorney can help you navigate the process, including providing insight on appropriate social media behaviors. If you have questions about how social media may impact your case, call our office today for a free consultation.