Every time you log into Facebook, you should, theoretically, imagine a police officer putting handcuffs on you while reading out your Miranda rights. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law.
The fact is, the information, pictures and statements you share on Facebook can be used in court to convict you of crimes. They can also be used in family law court by your soon-to-be ex to gain the upper hand in your divorce proceedings.
How Facebook can be damaging
We all know that social media users tend to post the happiest moments of their lives on Facebook. Imagine you spend the year working 80-hour work weeks and you manage to carve out a week in June to visit the Bahamas and a week in December for a high-class ski trip in Vail. Maybe your photos from these trips are the only ones you post because they showcase the happiest moments from your whole year.
To the casual observer, it might look like you’re living in the lap of luxury, as every photo on your Facebook account depicts luxurious moments, fine dining and cocktails in fantastic locations. Even though the reality is different, it’s possible that a court could rule that you should pay a lot more money in alimony payments because of your “luxurious” lifestyle.
Your Facebook “face” could hurt your divorce process
Most divorce lawyers will admit that they love and hate what Facebook can do for their clients. In some cases, a client can gain huge advantages because of the information posted by the other spouse in the divorce. In other cases, a client could have his or her legal position destroyed because he or she posted the wrong thing.
Because of the risks involved in using Facebook during any legal proceeding, most lawyers will advise their clients to stay away from it. Go cold turkey if necessary. It’s better to be safe by not sharing information than to be sorry because you made a mistake when posting.
If you’re being challenged in your divorce because of what you posted on your Facebook — or if you feel that your ex-spouse’s Facebook reveals facts that could help your case — be sure to investigate your legal rights and options.