The Writing’s on the Wall

These days, you or someone you know is using Facebook or some other social networking site.  What you may not know is that Facebook content may be used against you in your Family Law case.

For example, many clients use Facebook to post pictures of vacations, make statements regarding a new job they got, or post pictures of a brand new car they just bought.  All these things may seem normal on Facebook, but as some have already found out, it may be the difference between an award of attorney’s fees or spousal support, or even losing custody of your children.

Photos of you drinking, partying, or taking a vacation out of state may lead to you losing time with your children, or a post that you got a new job may lead to a higher child support obligation, or a picture of that new car you bought may increase your spousal support obligation.

California’s Electronic Discovery Act and the case Lorraine v. Markel American Ins. Co., 241 F.R.D. 543 (2007) have codified the right of parties to introduce evidence found on Facebook in Family Law Court.  So that nasty post you made against your ex may be used against you in a domestic violence allegation.

What are you supposed to do?  The best advice may be to stay away from social networking sites until your case is resolved.  Remember, it’s not only your page that has information about you, your friends may post on your wall, or post pictures of you.

As long as you understand the risk of using these sites you will be better prepared to mitigate them, and you may even be able to use it against opposing party.