Social Media May Be Evidence in Family Law Cases

Written by Jonathan Breeden

Social media use is a rapidly growing trend among people of all ages and technical capabilities. Nowadays, it’s a cinch to hop online and record your thoughts, views, or even just a description of what you had for dinner. But your social media use can cause you more grief than satisfaction when your public information falls into the wrong hands. Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram pictures can be used to track when you’re home, to locate pictures of your children, and even as evidence to be used against you in your court case.

If you have filed for divorce, it is important to remember that the content of your social media accounts could potentially be used in your case. Courts in many states, including North Carolina, have started to allow social media pictures and posts to serves as evidence, provided these accounts can be proved authentic and not just fabricated to make the account user look guilty. However, it’s important to note that your social media accounts can quickly and accurately be traced back to you, easily confirming which accounts are valid.

Pictures, posts or tweets depicting the certain compromising scenarios can cause particular problems for your case. The list below provides some examples of what you should not present online, but is by no means all-inclusive:

  • Alcohol and drug use or overuse/abuse.
  • Living conditions that may be unsuitable for children.
  • Inappropriate behavior – any situation that could be unfit for children to witness or be around.
  • Expensive material possessions – these costly items could point towards some assets that have not been disclosed in divorce documents.
  • Rants about your anger towards your former spouse, defamation of his or her character, expressing an unwillingness to cooperate with your former spouse or any court orders pertaining to your divorce or child custody situation.

On the other hand, if you believe your spouse is hiding assets, or intending to defy court orders and bring more heartache to you or your children, you may find proof of your suspicions in his or her social media accounts. It’s easy to print out any incriminating posts or pictures, or to take a “screen shot” of the social media pages using online tools. If you do not have the ability to view your spouse’s accounts, your attorney may be able to gain access through the discovery process, or even question your spouse about these accounts in a deposition.

Contact a North Carolina Family Lawyer Today

Remember: the Internet is forever. Simply setting your accounts to “private” view will not keep you safe. Anything you post to a social media account can be discovered, even if you delete it. It’s best to stay offline while your case is active, which will ensure you avoid any potential pitfalls.

Talking to a North Carolina family lawyer may help you understand what social media boundaries you should stay within, and help you keep your cool by eliminating direct contact with your spouse during your divorce and custody processes. Call (919) 661-4970 today.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden