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Social media traps to avoid during divorce

Social media has become so pervasive that it is commonplace for people to share intimate moments of their lives with others over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While this makes for interesting topics of discussion, it could be also lead to disaster; especially for people going through child custody disputes.

There are countless stories and “OMG” moments where parents in custody disputes have torpedoed their cases because of errant comments on social media outlets. Examples include disparaging comments about a parent through a Facebook account or profiles on dating sites indicating that a person is not married or does not have children (while in the midst of a custody dispute). Some may have pictures of themselves partying while they claim that they live conservative, responsible lives.

While many of these posts (and pictures) are made in alcohol filled rages, they all have one thing in common: they cannot be taken back. Essentially, they are permanent parts of the Internet’s topography. This means that they are discoverable pieces of information that can be used in legal proceedings. Depending on how vindictive the other party may be, even statements made in jest or even taken out of context can be used in court.

As such, there are a few simple rules that people going through divorces and custody disputes should follow. First, if you don’t want a post potentially read by a judge, don’t post it on the Internet. Second, a picture taken of you is not your property, and can be used by anyone on any site. Third, if you are feeling like an Internet rant would be therapeutic, take 30 minutes and read the post again before hitting “send.”

Source: “The divorce mistakes you don’t know you’re making,” Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014

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