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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Until Death-or Twitter- Do You Part

Can social media posts be used in a divorce case?

Once upon a time, you promised to love and honor each other in sickness and in health until death do you part.

But life’s no fairy tale and, for whatever reason, things have changed. Maybe you’re parting on good terms or maybe it’s ugly. But if there are children involved, you’ll still be bound forever through that shared tie-- so it’s best to make every effort to co-parent nicely for the sake of the children.

While your divorce lawyer is handling the legal proceedings, you might be tempted to move on with your new life. Time to let everyone know about your divorce and maybe start a new relationship. Where there’s a social life, there is almost always social media to help share it with the world. Just one click and virtually the entire world knows your business.

Step away from the keyboard. Or at least think twice before posting or tweeting anything even remotely related to any aspect of your divorce—your kids, job, vacation, and especially a new relationship--because what you post can be used against you. Even if you block or unfollow your ex, there will be other mutual friends reporting back on your new life. Deleting a post won’t help if it’s already been screenshotted.

Examples of problematic social media posts are everywhere as people innocently tend to share far too many-- sometimes very personal-- details. Watch out for posts about your kids that might put the spotlight on your parenting skills, such as that trip to the ER for stitches, letting the kids skip school for something fun, posting about them failing an exam, or a picture of Junior’s really bad sunburn. Don’t brag about your new job, big raise, hefty bonus, or fancy vacation on Facebook and try to look broke in the courtroom. And, no matter how tempting it is, don’t flaunt that new relationship. Scantily-clad pictures of your drunken weekend getaway to Vegas can never help your divorce case. So, if you don’t want the judge to see it, don’t post it.

During the divorce and even after it, you must always be mindful of what you post as long as you have minor children because changed circumstances may be grounds for the court to modify a prior order. But if you think of your children’s best interests before posting, social media can be used for good. Share the good things about your children’s accomplishments and foster good co-parenting practices with your ex so you can all move forward to a happier life.

 

If you live in Texas and are considering divorce or seeking a modification of a prior court order, you need an experienced family law attorney to guide you and protect you through this difficult transition.

Stinson Moyle, PLLC specializes in family law, and handles all aspects of family and divorce law matters in Austin, Travis County, Williamson County and Hays County.  Contact us at our Austin, TX location for a consultation regarding your family law or divorce matter. Or reach us by phone at (512) 320-9070.


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