In our work as divorce litigators we are seeing an extreme upsurge in the use of social networking sites as evidence in child custody cases. The trend began several years ago, and with dramatic outcomes. In my first case involving Facebook, the spouse provided screen shots of his spouse’s newsfeed to establish that she drank excessive, partied too much, and lived with an unsavory roomie. She lost custody.
We regularly encourage clients to carefully defend just what they post. Our suggestions: emphasize photos of your children; deemphasize images of you consuming; and adjust your privacy settings so that others can not upload photos of you without your authorization. Absolutely nothing is more incriminating than an unbiased image taken with a phone. Think Michael Phelps.
This most recent development presents further problems. Judges are now ordering couples to swap passwords– this means that even strictly guarded personal privacy settings won’t help (here’s a link to the write-up). These cases are becoming more complicated by the day and nuanced expert suggestions is more vital than ever before. If you think you think that social media may play a part in your child custody case, you must get in touch with a knowledgeable family law attorney to help you formulate your approach. This is one problem that you don’t wish to bungle.