We all love using social media in our daily lives. It’s a quick and useful way to share opinions, news, or even just fun photos with friends and loved ones. But, if you aren’t careful with what you put on social media, your latest post can become a major liability. Smart use of social media is a great policy for everyone, but it is particularly important for people who may be involved in a legal dispute.
This is especially true if you find yourself involved in legal matters involving a family law issue such as child custody or divorce proceedings. That’s because lawyers across the country are increasingly turning to social media in order to find evidence that may be used against opposing litigants. For example:
- A Facebook picture of a brand new car may be used as evidence that an individual is capable of paying more child support, or that the individual has been concealing income from the court.
- An Instagram photo of a spouse in a social setting with another suspected love interest might support claims that the spouse has been unfaithful.
- Social media posts involving profanity, weapons, or threatening material could be used to show that one parent is not one whose custody of a son or daughter is, “in the best interest of the child.”
These scenarios are not only limited to family law matters. Ill-advised social media posts have even been used by law enforcement to link suspects to narcotics offenses and other crimes.
So what should you do to make sure that your use of social media doesn’t become a problem for you or your loved ones?
First, exercise caution before you post. As long as you are making smart choices – both on and offline – your social media activity should not become the subject of any unwanted attention. Remember, professional investigators can easily find evidence on your social media profiles, even after it has been deleted.
Also, make sure that your privacy settings are enabled and that people you are not acquainted with are unable to view your pages and accounts.
Consider using an account name other than your real name. This will ensure that you only share posts, pictures, and opinions with your real “friends” – those whom you have shared your details with, and not individuals who may not have your best interests at heart.
Finally, do not be tempted to log in to someone’s social media accounts without his or her permission. Doing so could be illegal, and the information you find may not be allowed in court.
Staying smart regarding one’s use of social media is an important rule for all of us to follow, but exercising caution is especially important for those involved in domestic legal proceedings or otherwise subject to chancery court orders. Any content you post, tweet, or share could result in serious consequences. That’s why all family law issues are best resolved with the help of an experienced attorney who knows how to leverage advanced tools of investigation with intricate knowledge of the law in your pursuit of justice.
Are you in need of help with a legal question or issue? Get in touch with me, Vangela M. Wade at The Wade Law Firm in Ridgeland, Mississippi. With more than 18 years of legal practice and knowledge of Mississippi Family Law, The Wade Law Firm, PLLC is committed to serving all of our clients with the utmost expertise, diligence, and care. Contact me at The Wade Law Firm, online or call 601.790.0043 for an initial, affordable consultation.