Time for an unpopular opinion: Social media is probably one of the worst things that has happened to people trying to find a job, get custody, or for those going through a divorce (and also would like to have opinions outside the mainstream). Companies and courts routinely look at your social media in order to determine your character. Humans are not always fair. Judges, though they may try to be, may sometimes interject personal politics from the bench. This is why it is not always best to make public statements about your children, life or relationship on social media platforms. And when the “Way Back” machine is accepted in courts, even your old thoughts and opinions can come into play. Someone stating that they could not deliver a child on the day intended, but posted an Instagram picture that shows them in a location other than that which they will claimed, will provide airtight evidence of a violation of custody order. As family law attorneys, we try to counsel people to either stay off of social media or be extremely cautious of what you are posting, tweeting, or taking pictures of.
Sometimes, it’s not even an issue of one partner lying or doing something flagrantly dangerous, but just saying the wrong thing or giving off the wrong impression. Consider the Justin Timberlake social media storm where he tweeted a single word: “#INSPIRED” by Jessie William’s speech and you’ll understand just how easy it is to have small snippets of speech scrutinized in every way possible. Wherever you stand on the issues, a single word like “#INSPIRED”, something that is positive in every way, can still be used to build a case or argument against you.
It is important to use caution and scrutiny when a divorce situation is acrimonious or potentially so. Staying off of social media can be extremely helpful to keeping the peace between you and your former partner, as well as, not providing evidence against your case. We’re in a completely different world now and bad social media practices have sent people to jail, cost them jobs, and even had custody revoked. As family law attorneys, we can only advise that people take better care of their reputation and that means their online one as well.