Whether contemplating a divorce or currently going through the process, it is important to keep in mind that Facebook messages can become one of the most hotly contested issues in one’s case. The reason being is that sometimes people fail to realize that Facebook messages, despite innocent intentions, can be wrongfully construed or even suggest that a person is acting inappropriately while still married. In fact, I would say that about 30% of the divorce cases I handle are impacted in some form or another by Facebook.
That is why if you believe that a divorce is on the horizon or are already in the midst of one, exercise caution when using social networking websites. Specifically, you never know how your ex, the judge or perhaps a jury will view your behavior and as such, it is important to consider the following tips when using Facebook (and other social networking sites):
- Avoid posting information about yourself on Facebook until your divorce has been completed. While details may seem innocuous at the time of posting, it could cause you serious legal headaches down the road. For example, if you post information about your endeavors with your new beau while you are still legally married, your current spouse can use this against you in court. As such, put off these types of posts until well after your divorce case is finalized.
- Don’t alter your Facebook profile page’s relationship status setting until your divorce is over. Publicizing a new relationship prior to the official court mandated end of your existing one can lead to unnecessary legal trouble. Remember that any information that you provide online can and may likely be used against you either in court or during divorce mediation.
- Be careful with who you choose to be your Facebook “friends”.
- If you don’t want people to know something, then don’t post it on Facebook. You never know who will talk and spread information about you that you otherwise want kept private. That is why you should never take any risks by sharing personal and otherwise confidential information on Facebook.
- Avoid connecting with old flames on Facebook. While dealing with the emotional and physical toll of a divorce, it isn’t uncommon for people to seek out the solace and compassion of a former boyfriend or girlfriend. Keep in mind that this could lead to undesirable consequences, and could be deemed as infidelity by the court. As such, wait until your divorce proceeding is finalized before taking this often irresponsible, yet often innocently intended step.
- Think before hitting the send button. Always ask yourself whether the post you are about to send is insensitive to your current spouse. Whether you care or not about his or her feelings, it is still important to realize that it is easy for them to find out what you are posting. Moreover, their reaction to your posts, whether positive, neutral or negative, could be misconstrued and result in major legal problems.
- Consider suspending your Facebook account until your divorce is over. Sometimes, when clients of mine are really “into” Facebook, I advise them to suspend their accounts until their divorce case is completed. This way, it prevents them from engaging in risky behavior that could lead to serious and sometimes irreparable legal consequences later on.
Contact the McLeod Law Firm Today!
For more information on the above, or if you are considering a divorce in Georgia, contact the McLeod Law Firm, P.C. of Gainesville Georgia to schedule your initial case evaluation. Unlike a big firm, our team of legal professionals provides each and every client with the personal attention, respect and regular communication they deserve. We also take the time necessary to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions in your case. We look forward to providing you with superior legal services!