It’s easy to forget just how permanent and accessible a Facebook post, a text, an e-mail or a Twitter message can be. It’s even easier to overlook the potential legal ramifications of making or sending one. If you are planning to end your marriage or have already started the divorce process in Tennessee, however — you might want to tie a string around your right or left index finger and remember this post.
The reason is simple. More and more divorce attorneys are accessing social media accounts, e-mail accounts, computer records and cell phone information to uncover evidence that will benefit their clients. Since 2010, in fact, social media evidence has played a key role in nearly 700 divorce and family law cases.
“I’m not an adulterous spouse or liar so I’ve got nothing worry about — right?”
Not necessarily. For example, if your divorce case has to go to trial, your spouse’s lawyer could conceivably use your e-mails, tweets or social media posts to establish your state of mind, actions, communications, time and place or other important facts in court. Even if that doesn’t happen, however, remember that what you reveal in those communications could provide the other side with a strategic advantage in negotiations, pre-trial proceedings and litigation.
Last, we want to re-emphasize the two big things you should remember about this post. The first is to be careful about what you say in e-mails, texts, phone messages and social media postings. The second is that you cannot expect your communications to remain private during divorce proceedings.
Source: Media Bistro, “How Do Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media For Evidence?,” Lauren Dugan, April 10, 2012