With most adults having profiles on at least one, and usually multiple, social media accounts, the likelihood of them remaining purely “social” is slim when you are involved in a lawsuit. This is especially true if you find yourself in a family court legal dispute, including a custody case. Here’s what you need to know about what your social media says about you when you go to court.
Are Social Media Posts Admissible in Court?
A big question is whether or not social media posts are admissible in court. The answer is yes. Though judges will generally try to arrange custody that includes both parents, that can change dramatically when one parent is unfit, or alienates a child, or fails to co-parent amicably. Social media posts can serve as a roadmap to show the court that the posting parent has negative qualities that impact their ability to properly parent a child.
Can You Use Social Media to Your Advantage?
Yes. While social media can work against you in your custody battle, it can also work in your favor. Some parents may leverage their accounts and posts to seek a favorable outcome at trial if their posts reveal they are able and willing to co-parent and refrain from activities that may tend to show them in a bad light.
Do’s And Don’ts
- Do – Timely advise your attorney of any possible negative or harmful content in your social media history.
- Do – Be mindful that anything you post or have posted may be provided to the other party through the discovery process, and then may be used against you at a trial.
- Don’t – Post on your social media accounts during your custody case, as a general rule. It is especially important not to post negative things about your sprouse, your child’s other parent, or your case at all.
- Don’t – Delete your posts or post history without discussing the matter with your attorney. Deleting posts could make you look like you are hiding things, and the post may be tretrievable anyway. Talk to your family court lawyer about the best way to handle prior negative or unflattering posts.
Custody cases can be reasonably amicable, or they can get downright dirty. Your prior social media history could very well impact your case. To give you the best chance to come out on top, keep your social media out of the custody fray. And get a reliable legal team on your side. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at McCutchen and McLean LLC for the guidance and support you need for your custody case.