Posts

impact of social media on divorce case

How Can Social Media Negatively Impact My Divorce?

Once your divorce proceedings are in full swing, you should be prepared for the other party (through their attorney) to explore all legal ways to scrutinize your activities and behavior and find any possible evidence to support their case.

Considering the high popularity and usage of social media, chances are that they will go through your publicly available messages on various social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Social Media Comments that could Weaken Your Case

If you were contemplating divorce for a while, and shared status updates or messages on social media against your spouse that could be perceived as angry, abusive, or even threatening, the other party may be able to use them against you at some point during the divorce proceedings.

For instance, even if a friend suggested to you to hide marital assets or indulge in marital waste (frittering away of marital assets), your encouraging responses to such ideas could show you in a bad light in court and in the eyes of the opposing defense counsel.

Even if you had no intention to commit these wrongful acts, a visit to the casino or another expensive entertainment venue around the same time could be misconstrued when seen together with such conversations. This could undermine any argument you have that you are financially responsible.

Social media networks such as Facebook have a ‘checking in’ feature, which could disclose your visits to hotels or other travel and entertainment locations. So, even if you remain discreet on social media and avoid making direct comments, any social information about your activities or whereabouts could be twisted out of context and used against you.

Social Images and Videos could Hurt Your Claims

Your images and videos shared on social media showing you smiling, laughing, sun bathing on the beach, partying, or celebrating with friends could pour cold water on your claims in court or during a deposition that you suffered domestic abuse or violence (or were miserable) during the same period when these images or videos were posted online.

Remember the saying “a picture paints a thousand words”? Well, video says even more than that! If you are fighting a child custody battle in a divorce and the other party introduces photos or videos from your social media account that shows you drinking, acting wildly, and so on (which could mean your influence on the child is not exactly wholesome), it could hurt your claims.

If you did not attend a school function for your child, missed several of their sporting events (soccer or Little League for instance), or failed to visit her or him when they were hospitalized, and your social media account/s undermine your word that you had something vital to attend to – the chances of you winning custody could be in jeopardy. Parents that put their kids first will avoid these types of situations, so they do not hurt their case.

Discussing Your Divorce Proceedings on Social Media can Only Compromise Your Case

Your family and friends may be interested in knowing updates about your divorce proceedings. Once you indulge in sharing information publicly about your ongoing case, you may end up making remarks or observations that might not be appreciated in the court.

If the other side is watching, they take any opportunity to embarrass you in the court or harm your case, depending on how self-damaging your commentary may have been. Any discussions related to your ongoing divorce case should be done strictly offline.

Avoid making any case-related discussions even through private online messages or social chats. If you must give a status update on social media about your case, let your lawyer do it for you.

Things to Remember about Social Media

  • If you are using Facebook, your ex-spouse may have friended some of your common Facebook friends. So, he or she could have access to your posts, even if you have changed the privacy settings to block outsiders from viewing them.
  • If you are on Twitter, you should be aware that all your tweets are accessible to anyone, even if they do not have a Twitter account. You need to change your privacy settings and check “Protect my Tweets” in order to ensure privacy.
  • Even if you want to delete some old social media content during the proceedings, never do it without consulting your divorce attorney. Any suspicious behavior could be viewed negatively by the opposition and your spouse.
  • If you have downloaded social apps on your cell phone, simply deactivate the geo-location feature from them so that you are not leaving a trail of your movements on social media.
  • Avoid accepting new or unknown friends or joining or following new groups or social media pages while your divorce proceedings are ongoing.

Consult with an Experienced Alabama Divorce Attorney Today

Alsobrook Law Group has a dedicated and tenacious team that will work hard to ensure you achieve the best possible outcomes in a divorce. Call 334.737.3718 or contact us online for a free consultation.

impact of social media on personal injury lawsuit

What Impact Could Social Media Have on My Personal Injury Suit?

The consequences of using social media probably aren’t something you think much about. Social media use is ubiquitous, with the Pew Research Center reporting that about seven in 10 Americans use it to connect with others. In fact, it’s likely that you use multiple social media platforms on a regular basis, including popular sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

But if you’re filing a lawsuit (or you have had a lawsuit filed against you), your use of social media is something you should indeed consider. Social media can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case, and here are some of the ways this can happen:

Social Media Serves as a Type of Evidence

The first thing that you should understand is that anything you post on the internet is public information, and therefore can be accessed by whomever, including the attorney for the other side. This means that pictures, updates, blogs, and the like can all be admitted to the court record as evidence. And don’t be quick to assume that your private messages are all the private, either – if the other party involved in the messages turns them over, those messages are fair game. What’s more, a lawyer could obtain a subpoena for cellphone and online records, including texts, private messages, and more. In today’s digital world, using various forms of online and digital evidence in a lawsuit is very common.

Social Media Can Undermine Your Claim

The next thing that you should know is that social media can undermine your claim. Even if what you’re posting to social media seems insignificant and innocuous, it may not be. Here are some examples of how social media posts can devalue your personal injury claim:

  • You claim to have broken your leg in the accident, but a recent picture posted of you on social media shows you at the golf course. Never mind the fact that, in reality, you were only on the golf course that day as a tag-along, riding in the cart to keep a friend company, or the fact that the photo shows you in the cart, but your legs aren’t visible (and if they were, you could surely see your cast). The other side submits this as evidence to the court that you must have been lying about your broken leg; otherwise, how would you have been able to spend the day at the course?
  • You are demanding damages for pain and suffering, claiming that the accident has left you with a disability that has altered your quality of life. On Facebook, a colleague posts publicly, asking how you’re doing. Out of politeness and to protect your privacy – you don’t want to be moaning and groaning about how miserable you are to your online contacts – you reply that you are doing well and that your recovery is coming along. The attorney for the defense snatches this up, using it as evidence to show that despite your demand for claim that you are in great pain a lot of the time, your social media profile indicates that you are doing just fine.

There are countless other examples like this. Posting pictures, even from the past, allowing yourself to be tagged in pictures that others post of you, checking into different locations, or talking about your accident or your injuries online can all be damaging to your claim if this information gets into the wrong hands.

Best Practices for Social Media Use When Pursuing a Lawsuit

If you’re involved in a lawsuit, it’s best to put your social media activity on hold. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to cease use of your accounts, at the very least you should set your accounts to private, refrain from accepting friend requests from anyone you don’t know, and never talk about your accident or injuries online.

Call Our Lawyers Today for More Information and Legal Guidance

Social media use may be the way that people stay connected in 2019, but it can be disastrous in a lawsuit. If you have questions about pursuing a personal injury claim or another lawsuit type, are worried about online evidence being used against you, or are in need of a highly-qualified lawyer for representation, please reach out to the Alsobrook Law Group online or by phone at (334) 737-3718. We offer free consultations and always accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.