Dos and Don'ts: Avoiding social media mistakes during a legal matter
It seems that everyone in this day and age uses some sort of social networking site, whether Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other similar site. And while most users know that what they post on these sites is visible to others, most fail to realize that the content of their social media pages may be admitted into evidence and can be used against them in a legal case.
For example, in family law cases, it can be damaging for one party to post negative comments about the other. While the Court will understand that there are differences between the parties that led to divorce, the Court will expect both parties to come together to co-parent the children. In fact, under Florida law, in deciding a timesharing arrangement for the children the Court will consider which parent facilitates a better relationship between the children and the other parent. Similarly, it is important to avoid letting anyone else post negative comments on your social media site for the same reason.
If you are involved in a legal matter, it is important that you carefully consider how you handle your social media presence. The easiest solution is to deactivate your account during the litigation; nobody can post damaging comments on an account that doesn't exist. If you choose not to deactivate your accounts, then at least make the effort to change your privacy settings to the most secure options possible. Also, limit your friends to those who are actually your friends in real life delete those people you don't actually know, or people who are friends of the opposing party.
Most importantly, DO NOT post anything on your social media accounts relating to your case. It does no good to vent on Facebook about your legal situation, and can only stand to prejudice your case. You should only talk to your lawyer about the specifics of your case; don't even mention them to family and close friends. As hard as it can be to keep the details of a personal situation to yourself, you will benefit from detaching yourself from your legal issue and leaving it up to your attorney to handle.
If you have a family law issue such as divorce, custody, child support or enforcement, you should contact a family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Don't attempt to handle it on your own, you could end up in a bigger mess than you entered into in the first place.
In addition to divorce matters, our firm also takes on cases involving custody battles, relocation issues, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka.
For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com
BY: Stephanie N. Mack, Board Certified Marital & Family Law Attorney
January 7, 2013