Understanding Social Media Use and Divorce Cases in Los Angeles County
We live in a world which has been profoundly impacted by social media. Twenty years ago, social media didn't exist; today, 81 percent of the US population uses one form of social media or another.
Especially in media-savvy Los Angeles, chances are high that in any divorce, one or both parties has a social media presence, and that presence can profoundly impact the proceedings – for better or for worse.
Don't let your Facebook or Twitter post derail your Los Angeles divorce case. Before you post, consult with a Los Angeles divorce attorney at Furman & Zavatsky LLP about how social media can impact the custody arrangement and divorce settlement.
Our experienced family law attorneys understand how social media has made a significant impact on many divorce cases. Many spouses have made online mistakes that have cost them everything. Consult with our law firm about how to protect yourself during the divorce process.
Social Media Can Impact Every Aspect of Your Divorce
One of Hollywood's classic genres is the noir detective story, often featuring a client coming to the detective to find information about what their spouse is doing (and more often than not, set in Los Angeles).
Today, we don't need to have a detective hired for someone to find out who we're seeing, how we're living, and what we're doing – we record that information on ourselves, and post it for the world to see. The information a post on Facebook reveals could have implications for any number of issues in a divorce, including:
- Property Distribution
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
Social media is both ubiquitous and relatively new on the scene as a potentially powerful tool in divorce proceedings. Most of us have found our way within the social media explosion in fits and starts – making mistakes along the way.
These mistakes can come back to haunt you in unpredictable ways when it comes to your divorce, and unpredictability is rarely a good thing when it comes to divorce. Your social media presence provides the court with a snapshot of who you are, and you don't want that snapshot to be vastly different from the dignified and reasonable person whom you are attempting to present to the court.
Remember that social media is essentially forever; mind your p's and q's. Most important of all, post consciously rather than impulsively – an impulsive comment posted in the heat of the moment (and there are many such moment during a divorce) could have unpredictable repercussions for your case.
You don't need to become a social pariah in order to protect yourself – but you do need to think more carefully than normal about what you're posting online. Courts are unlikely to buy that the person you “really” are is radically different from the image you project online.
Before anything goes online, think about it coming out in court. If the issue of whether a particular piece of property is community property (acquired during the marriage) or personal property (acquired before it,) don't post a picture captioned “Here is the necklace we got together in Rio for our anniversary.” If child custody and fitness as a parent is an issue, pictures that show you partying aren't the image you need to project.
Using this Source of Information
While you're attempting to maintain a dignified social-media presence, your spouse may not be similarly motivated. Your social media persona can affect the outcome of your case, but your ex's can also play an important role.
If your spouse is up to something nefarious, their social media may reflect this. Even if you're blocked from their accounts, you undoubtedly share friends and contacts who may feel compelled to come forward with the information. It's important not to ignore the clues that social media may be hiding in plain sight.
The social-media accounts of both you and your spouse can play an important role in the outcome of your case. In a contentious divorce, social media account information is one of the many pieces of information your attorneys need to have. Your divorce attorney needs to have the skill to take advantage of this fundamental force in our modern world.
Call Furman & Zavatsky to Speak with a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be an emotionally draining process, not to mention a complex one, without having to worry about social media issues. Hiring a family law attorney with awareness of social media can greatly increase your peace of mind about the process. Furman & Zavatsky LLP has the experienced attorneys you need to make sure you're using this powerful source of information to your benefit. Contact Us today for a free, no risk consultation at 818-528-3471. Serving the greater Los Angeles area.