In the age of social networking, everyone seems to be on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or some other site where they can easily stay connected to old friends or colleagues. When going through a family law proceeding, especially a divorce, your postings will be scrutinized, frequently out of context, and may be used against you in those proceedings. You have the ability to control your privacy settings, but that does not stop other people from posting about you or your activities. Further, your postings may be viewable by a third party without your knowledge or consent through a simple internet search.
It is not as simple as deleting posts or not being “tagged” in post; a simple Google search can reveal information you may have intended to reveal to only a select group or something someone else posted about you. Deleting or sanitizing your Facebook page is not the answer as it may put you at risk for sanctions for failing to preserve the evidence. The only fool proof thing you can do to protect yourself is to keep your private life out of other people’s and your own status updates and photos during a divorce.
Just like your Facebook posts can be used against you, they can also be used as a source of information about other parties. Facebook posts can be especially helpful in helping to prove a dissipation claim. If your spouse’s new boyfriend/girlfriend is posting about where they go, what they do, or gifts they receive, that information can be used to target formal discovery interrogatories or to show inconsistent statements made during depositions as well as in various other proceedings.