Social Media and Family Court: The Pitfalls and the Advantages

What was Mark Zuckerburg thinking? Yep — I blame him. As a Gen-Xer I can say that the age of Internet is still fairly new and frankly... I did not have the luxury of joining Facebook during the dawn of the social media craze.

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and the 5 million other ways to share your life, we have created a culture that believes in divulging every detail of a person's life.

My favorite thing of course are the couples with "shared couple" pages. A joint Facebook account. What happens when social media turns against you?

Social Media and Your Divorce or Custody Case

Readers, take note:

Social media is not usually your friend in a divorce or other family law case! The first thing that your former loved one will do is attack your credibility and the easiest way to do that is by scrolling through the pages of your life on social media. Do you remember what you did 10 years ago. Probably not, but thanks to Facebook Memories you can re-live those bad choices in an instant. My first point: if you are engaged in a legal battle — shut down your social media accounts.

Second, if your former loved one has failed to shut off their social media, then "hooray" for you. Now is the time to scrutinize their posts, photographs, comments and likes. Again, this creates a solid idea and platform to determine who the person is.

Third, if you decide to maintain your social media accounts, then remember the adage, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Truly, a golden rule that can protect you. At the end of the day, you are creating a living legacy through your choice of words, posts and submissions that will outlive you in on the web.

Finally, while your social media is only a snippet and one version of your true character — and a court will not rely on this information solely — it will be viewed in a whole with your case.

#staysmart

Attorney LaKetha Holmes practices Louisiana divorce and family law. She has offices in DeRidder and Lake Charles. LaKetha welcomes new clients to contact Holmes LA Law to schedule a consultation.

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