Facebook has become a divorce attorney’s dream. People post on Facebook things that in the past an attorney could only have gotten by hiring a private investigator. It seems today that everyone is sharing their dirty laundry with their online friends. If you are getting a divorce or even thinking about getting a divorce take a hard look at your Facebook page. Is there anything on there that you wouldn’t want your spouse, attorneys, or the judge to see? My basic word of advice to my clients is that if you wouldn’t want your mother to see it or read about it then don’t post it for the world.
If you have posts on your Facebook page about going out drinking or who you are dating then you can count on your spouse’s divorce attorney to swoop in and print them off. Those posts can be used as evidence against you in trial. Don’t forget about your friends pages either. Does Sally have a juicy photo of you out on the town posted for the world to see? If she does then I can find it.
Many clients have told me that their pictures or posts are private so no need to worry, right? Wrong! Your post and pictures may be private to the world but you are still sharing them with your friends. If you think they are safe you are sadly mistaken. I have seen private investigators “friend” people on different social sites to get the juicy details or even contact people’s friend lists to see if anyone has photos they would be willing to share. Remember also that it isn’t just pictures that are important. If you have told your spouse you will be at Joe’s house on Friday night and that’s not where you went, you better hope that Joe doesn’t post about where he was that night. Whether you are cheating or just behaving badly, attorneys are trained to find details of your life that will make you look the worst in front of the judge. This is especially true where alimony and custody of children are at issue.
Also remember that Videos on YouTube, text messages, dating services, voice mail, cellphones, even Global Positioning System receivers and E-ZPass records can be gold mines of potentially damaging information. If you are thinking about getting divorced, it is time to start cleaning up your online reputation. My advice? Shut down the Facebook, Myspace, Google+ pages and delete any photos of yourself you would rather not see as evidence in the courtroom. If you are already involved in a divorce, it may be too late for you. Ethical rules sometimes require the parties to exchange information about themselves, so be sure to talk with your attorney before you destroy documents or photos.
If you think your spouse may have juicy info on a personal site, be sure to let your attorney know about it. Sometimes a photo really can be worth a 1000 words.