Social media is deeply woven into the fabric of our daily experiences. However, it’s best to remain low-key online when it comes to family law matters. This article explores how social media usage can shape the trajectory of family law cases in North Carolina. From the photos we share to the comments we post, each digital footprint carries weight in the sensitive landscapes of divorce and custody proceedings.
Our North Carolina family law attorneys urge a mindful approach to social media during these legal processes.
Understanding Social Media’s Role in Family Law
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have transformed how we communicate and share our lives with the world. Unfortunately, these platforms and all of your posts can become evidence against you during a divorce or custody case.
How Social Media Can Be Used as Evidence
In the legal system, social media posts can serve as admissible evidence. This means that any photographs, videos, or text posts can be used in court to support or refute claims made by either party. Social media can provide critical evidence in a family law case, whether it’s a photo indicating undisclosed assets or a post suggesting improper conduct.
The Types of Social Media Posts That Can Hurt Your Case
Numerous types of social media posts can negatively impact your family law case. Below are some examples:
- Photographs of Luxury Purchases: If you post a picture of an expensive item or vacation that was not disclosed during divorce proceedings, it could suggest the concealment of assets.
- Images With New Romantic Partners: Posting pictures with a new partner before your divorce is finalized might be construed as evidence of infidelity, which could impact alimony, child custody, and property division.
- Posts Indicating Substance Abuse: Images of drug or alcohol use can raise questions about your suitability as a parent in custody disputes.
- Content Suggesting Extravagant Lifestyle: Living a lavish lifestyle beyond what your financial disclosures suggest could influence alimony and child support decisions.
Social Media and Divorce: A Complex Interaction
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means that marital misconduct isn’t considered when granting a divorce. However, social media evidence can still play a crucial role in other aspects of divorce proceedings.
Adultery and Social Media
In North Carolina, while adultery may not be the sole reason for divorce, it can still significantly influence the separation process. Social media can provide evidence of extramarital relationships, influencing decisions about alimony and child custody.
Social Media and Property Division
In the process of equitable distribution, or property division, social media posts indicating waste or concealment of marital assets can be detrimental. Your online activities could potentially skew the scales against you during the division of assets.
Social Media and Child Custody
Social media plays a crucial role in child custody cases as well. Posting content that reflects negatively on your parenting abilities or lifestyle choices may affect judgments about your fitness as a parent. The court’s ultimate goal is to secure the child’s best interest, and any evidence suggesting otherwise can harm your custody claims.
Social Media’s Influence on Restraining Orders
In North Carolina, a person can seek a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against anyone with whom there has been a “personal relationship.” Here too, social media can play a significant role. Evidence from social media platforms can be used to support a claim for a DVPO, making it another area where your online behavior can have real-world consequences.
The Best Course of Action: Caution and Consultation
Considering the potential implications, it’s wise to tread carefully on social media during any family law proceedings. Avoid posting anything that might be perceived negatively or used against you. If you’re going through a divorce, contact us today to get the answers you need moving forward.