Today’s post comes courtesy of guest blogger and administrator extraordinaire Stephanie K.
Many of us get online at some point. Most of us use networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with friends and family what is going on with their lives. Usually there is nothing wrong with this. When in litigation, however, this can be disastrous. This is especially true in divorce and custody cases. If you present yourself as an honest, dependable, trustworthy person who is capable of taking care of your kids, photos and internet posts about partying and excessive drinking do not help your case. At minimum it will make you look dishonest – a trait most judges do not like. Changing your marital status to ‘single’ too soon can hurt you as well. Until the final divorce decree is issued, you are still legally married. Basically, anything you don’t want your spouse or a judge to know, you don’t need to post online. This includes photos of you and people of the opposite sex, especially if you are in a relationship with that person. If you are in a relationship with someone else while going through a divorce, it is important that he or she is also careful with what they post.
Your internet history can be subpoenaed, and although it doesn’t happen often, in extreme cases your entire computer can be subpoenaed and provided to a forensic computer expert for analysis. Joining dating sites such as eHarmony and Match.com are also not recommended. Remember that everything quits being a secret once it is posted online. Also, be wary of accepting new friend requests from people you don’t know personally. Becoming friends with people you and your spouse know can be dangerous as these friends may have been recruited to gain information you are posting. People have also been known to create fake accounts in order to gain access to information only available to people on your friends list. Be cautious about posting things your children can see as well. Exposing them to anything that can be harmful can damage your attempts to gain custody and visitation. Overall, if you are insistent on continuing to actively post information on these types of websites, it is important to discuss it with your attorney first to get guidelines on what is safe and what is potentially harmful; and you should always review posts, tweets, and pictures before hitting send. If you don’t want it to become part of public record, it is best not to share it at all.
Cordell, Joseph Esq. The 10 Stupid Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce and How to Avoid Them. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2010. Print.