"Oops, Did I Really Post That?"
In our modern society, we are constantly communicating online, on smart phones and on electronic tablets. Many people publicly express their feelings, opinions and thoughts through online and mobile means like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and MySpace, etc. People are increasingly providing personal information "updates," their current "status," and are communicating with their friends and followers (who they may not even know) by posting on their own walls and or in social media streams. These outlets can be exciting, fun and a nice way to stay in touch with friends and family members. Many users even share wonderful memories by tagging their loved ones in photographs online.
While Facebook and other social media outlets are a great way for you to keep in touch with your social circles, keep mind your entire profile may be public unless you've have strategically turned on your privacy settings. This means that if you are in the midst of a divorce or custody battle, all other parties that are participating can go on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media platforms to judge whether or not you are being responsible.
For example, you may want to avoid posting anything online related to any big-ticket purchases or lavish vacations that you have recently paid for if you're going through a support battle or even after a support amount is set. These types of postings may spark your ex to seek more support because of your new wealth. This is because this information can be used as evidence to alter the court's view of your finances. This may affect your child support and alimony amounts. For example, if you are getting support and you post photos of your brand new BMW or Bentley online, chances are that your ex will see it and will argue to the court that you are well off and do not need spousal support. Conversely if you are the one who is paying alimony or child support, such a posting could initiate a request for an increase in the support you are paying. Even if you argue that you received the vehicle as a gift, this may not be enough to convince the court.
Child custody and visitation issues are oftentimes the most contentious issues in a divorce. You should always avoid posting anything online that might be interpreted as characteristic of an unfit parent. For example, using excessive profanity online, posting photos of you or those around you drinking and partying, or posting statuses about a craving for alcohol or drugs because these postings may be printed up and shown to the court because they are related to parenting issues. You do not want the court to think you are not fit to care for your children. In addition, avoid posting photos of your child or at least be very careful if you do. Not only does the content of the postings and photos provide possible evidence but even the time of the posting may be used against you. For example a real time picture you upload of your young child at midnight could harm your case because it is so late, even if you meant no harm and just wanted to share a cute picture of your child with your friends. For these reasons, you should warn your family and friends not to upload and or "tag" you in any photographs or postings that could put you in a bad light. These include photos from a club outing, drinking, smoking, photos or postings that are provocative in nature, or of you at a rowdy concert, to name a few examples.
Also, avoid talking bad about your ex or any of the lawyers or court authorities involved in your case online. You do not want to be in court in front of a judge you've said terrible things about online! By following these instructions and hiring a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, you will have a better chance of successfully winning your custody case.