Social media is a way of interaction that involves sharing information with your family or friends. However, social media platforms have increasingly become evidence collection mechanisms in family law cases which help attorneys and judges during the proceedings. Therefore, information gleaned from social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook is now being submitted and admitted as evidence in family law cases.
It would therefore suffice to say that social media impacts your family law case. Here is a brief elucidation of how social media impacts your case and how you should handle it.
How Is Social Media Being Used In Family Law Cases?
Every post, comment, or tag from friends can be used as evidence in many ways. You or the opposing party can collect evidence that is meant to demonstrate that either the other person is unfit for custody or doesn’t need alimony based on their posts on social media. Therefore, it is imperative to take cautious measures to ensure that social media does not harm your family law case.
What Should You Do?
Avoid Oversharing Online: This is an imperative undertaking if you have a family law case in Wisconsin. The rationale behind this is based on the fact that one of the first things any family law attorney does during the initiation of a new case is a search through your profile or your opposing party’s social media profile. Therefore, you might want to reduce the number of embarrassing photos or comments that could harm your reputation during the legal proceedings.
Restrict Your Online Connections: This involves limiting people that can see your posts. You can choose to block your opposing party from accessing your social media profile as a defensive measure until you are done with the court proceedings. Also, it is imperative to avoid friending strangers online who might pave the way for the acquisition of evidence by the opposing party.
Disable Your Account: This is the best way to help you avoid posting information that can potentially damage your chances of winning the case. Also, it helps you resist the temptation of posting or even commenting on social media.
Delete Potentially Damaging Information: This denotes taking down posts that your opponent may use against you in court. Also, unfriending anyone within your opposing party’s circle will help your case.
What Should You Not Do?
Issue Threats: Section 940.203 of the Wisconsin Statutes provides that threats to Judicial officers such as Judges or Commissioners can be a criminal offense. Therefore, you may end up serving jail time if you post information that may be construed to be a threat to judicial officers. Also, the other party may file for a harassment injunction against you based on your posts.
Post Anything To Do With Your Legal Case: Family law cases tend to be stressful; however, by all means, you should avoid posting anything that can potentially harm your case. In the same token, you should take care to avoid posts that can be taken out of context to mean something other than how you intended it to be conveyed. Thereby potentially harming your case.
Post Information To Do With Your Additional Income Or Side Jobs: You need to avoid this by all means because the posts are evidence of your financial capabilities. For example, if you are in child support or a divorce proceeding and claim to be unable to pay but post a picture of where you are enjoying recent trips, then the posts can be tabled as evidence to counter your claims.
Therefore, you may end up paying alimony, child support, or attorney fee contributions.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, social media can impact your family law case. Therefore, you need to handle it properly pending hearing and determination of your case. With the assistance of an experienced family law practitioner, you can leverage your social media presence against the opposing party to successfully win your case. Contact Sparr, Belville & Brown LLC if you are dealing with family law matters to help you accomplish your goals.