If you are a regular user of Facebook and other types of social media and you are currently involved in a lawsuit of any kind or if you may in the future become embroiled in litigation, you should consider either closing your account and taking down all social media posts, or at the very least very carefully contemplating the possible effects each and every posting might have in any future litigation.
A social media post can have adverse effects in family law cases such as divorce or child custody, in personal injury cases, other sorts of litigation, and yes, even in your search for or retention of a job. It has become common practice to do internet searches for information on opposing parties, and often people that are involved in litigation will print out your social media posts for attempted use against you in a lawsuit.
For example, a social media post of your new car or boat, could alert a collection attorney who is trying to collect a debt from you of the existence of an asset that may be able to be seized when they try to collect on a judgment against you.
Postings that show you drunk frequently, or clearly show drug usage or paraphernalia or other illegal or undesirable behavior will often be used against you in a future child custody proceeding.
With regard to email and texting, these also must be used cautiously as you proceed through life. Remember that once you put anything into a written format such as this it is permanently there, and can be utilized by anyone as a statement made by you when it may adversely affect you in a lawsuit. There are more evidentiary problems presented to the attorney trying to use these sorts of communication in court, but often they can be overcome, and this evidence is often deemed admissible in one form or another.
Texting is an especially troublesome form of communication in litigation and family law matters such as divorce and child custody cases. This is because it is engaged in by the general public far too quickly. Receive a text, thumb type a response and instantly send a reply, all within a few seconds – without thought. Often angry exchanges take place in this fashion, threats are made, admissions are made, and curse words used. If you are angry or upset with the other party the best thing you can do is to use a 24 hour rule, walk away, sleep on it, and don’t respond until you have had time to compose your thoughts and cool down.
Whenever our office takes in a new divorce, child custody case, personal injury case or litigation matter of any sort, one of the first things we do is warn our client’s verbally about the dangers of social media, email and text communication, and we also mail out a letter to our new clients reminding them of the verbal discussion we have had with them about these matters. We also warn them to make sure they change passwords on any email account or social media account in the event that their passwords could possibly be known or guessed by the other party to any lawsuit or family law litigation.
Our office handles all sorts of family law matters including divorce, paternity cases, adoptions and child custody matters. We also handle bankruptcies, traffic, personal injury, real estate law, contract law cases and other legal matters. Let us know if we can be of any assistance to you by calling us at (636) 937-4994.