Let’s discuss social media and divorce, and how what you post online can affect the outcome of family law cases in Texas.
In today’s society, communication and self-expression have become increasingly simple thanks to the widespread use of social media.
With various forms of social media and electronic messaging becoming a fixture in the daily lives of most Americans, people are able to communicate with mass audiences unlike any other time in history.
Texts, emails, and social media posts that enable us to become closer to others than ever before also have a downside.
While it is exciting that anyone can post their thoughts and beliefs with great ease, this information can be captured and saved for later use.
With regards to family law matters, this can become potentially problematic.
Increasingly, attorneys find themselves using social media posts as evidence, either in support of their client or against the opposing party.
It is important to understand how social media posts, emails, and text messages can be used either for or against you in family law settings.
Assuming your family law attorney has an understanding of the requisite procedural process for admitting electronic media into evidence, it has become commonplace for Texas judges to allow such evidence to be used in family law hearings.
Family law attorneys have the ability to use as evidence everything from text messages and email conversations to social media posts containing useful statements or photos.
Disparaging messages between parties, messages between a spouse and their paramour, or posts of indecent behavior or conduct unbecoming of a parent can all be used in various family law hearings in Texas.
With the ability to use endless forms of electronic media that have been sent or posted, it allows posts and messages that may have been created innocently or without contemplation of its future impact to be used in a Texas family law hearing against the parties to a suit.
Understanding that so much of what people send and post on electronic platforms can be used in the courtroom, it is important to consider what you send and share before doing so.
This is especially true if you find yourself in a situation where a family lawsuit has been initiated.
Far too often, a party will announce their frustration through an angry message or post, only to have it used against them later in a hearing.
It is important to be aware of what you are posting and sending as there are potentially severe implications that stem from a compromising electronic media message or post.
If you, on the other hand, are the recipient of some sort of negative electronic media post, it is important to maintain a level head and not respond in a similarly negative way — often times in family law courts, the goal is to get the judge to believe that you are a sympathetic individual who is of high character.
Taking the high road with regard to negative posts and messages will help instill the belief that you are level-headed individual capable of making good decisions, while providing an incendiary response will do nothing but hurt your standing before the court.
It’s a good policy to avoid posting any material that could reflect negatively on your character.
This policy is applicable to everyone, not merely those involved in a family lawsuit.
It is far too easy for negative posts and messages to be used against you in a court of law to hurt your case and bolster the case of the opposing party.
If you are preparing to file for divorce or have been served with a divorce petition by your spouse, give us a call at Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant to set up a consultation at (940) 387-3518, or contact us here today.
In today’s world, you need to be aware of the laws concerning social media and divorce.
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