By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC
In the modern age, most Americans rely on social media to stay connected with friends and family. Social media is an outlet for personal expression and often people post their deepest fears and secrets for the world to see. Unfortunately, sometimes the ease of using social media outlets for self expression leads to posting items that might best be kept private. Job recruiters warn employees entering the job market against posting items that could influence prospective employers. Politicians and celebrities have lost credibility and careers over items posted on social media sites. Just look at the controversy currently surrounding New York Congressman Anthony Weiner who allegedly sent out a Twitter stream with a lewd photograph attached. Regardless of the outcome of any investigation into how the incident occurred, Mr. Weiner’s career will be forever linked with this allegation.
While these incidents are well documented in the American mind, what many people do not consider is the impact social media can have on pending litigation. In the domestic litigation arena, when the mud starts flying in the courtroom, postings on websites can come back to haunt a party to a case. Items posted on a Facebook or My Space page can be used to show that someone is an unfit parent. Postings disparaging the other parent can be used to demonstrate threats or an inability to foster a loving relationship between the children and the other parent (an important consideration for the Court in determining which parent should have the majority of parenting time with the children.) Bragging about purchases like new cars or partying can come up in litigation to show that a party isn’t obeying Court orders not to use marital assets during a divorce.