How What You Delete From Facebook Can Be Used Against You in Your Divorce
Many people know that what they post on social media can hurt them in a Florida divorce case, but did you know that what you take down from social media can be just as damaging, if not more so? Though you may truly regret something that you post, if you are going through a divorce, do not delete it. Simply removing a post from social media is, in the court’s eye, an admission of guilt. After all, if the post was worthy of being removed, it must have been truly bad, right? At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our Boca Raton family law attorneys advise clients on what and what not to do during the divorce process and make sure that every action they take only furthers their best interests. When you work with our legal team, we will make sure that you do not do anything to unwittingly compromise your case in any way.
Spoliation of Social Media Evidence
Spoliation occurs when a document (digital or hard copy) that could be used as evidence in litigation is destroyed. Spoliation is illegal in that by destroying a document you are depriving involved parties and the judge of information that could have potentially been used to make a decision. Because of such a big role that social media now plays in our lives, it is used more and more in litigation and to help courts across the United States better understand the elements of a case. As a result, the deletion of certain posts during litigation can be viewed as spoliation and is an action subject to criminal punishments.
How Social Media Evidence Can Be Used Against You
People are very free with what they post online, and oftentimes fail to realize that everything they post has the potential to impact their lives. This is especially true when the poster is involved in criminal or civil litigation. For example, the courts might not care to learn that you have a new romantic interest, but they might be interested to learn that you took your romantic interest on an elaborate vacation to the Bahamas when you were still married. A seemingly innocent photo posted to Facebook of you and your new partner on vacation might give you away because of a dated timestamp. If the judge learns that you went on vacation with someone other than your spouse, during your marriage, and most likely with marital funds, it could have an effect on what percentage of marital assets you receive, as well as whether or not you will be required to pay alimony.
Another example of how a social media post may be used against you is if you post a picture of a brand new car with the caption, “Goodbye Ring, Hello Beemer!” Of course, this is a much more blatant display of marital misconduct, but such displays do happen. Obviously, if you were to post something of this nature, you would be forced to repay at least half of what the ring’s value was.
How Can a Deleted Post be Called Into Evidence?
Just because you delete something from social media does not make it disappear forever. If the other party believes a post to be damaging evidence against you, they can have it subpoenaed, at which point a copy of the post will be pulled up and admitted as evidence.
Consult With a Boca Raton Family Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our Boca Raton family law attorneys help protect our clients from making mistakes that could cost them in a divorce. If you are in the midst of a divorce, or if you are about to embark on the divorce journey, be sure to work with an attorney who will do everything in their power to preserve your best interests. Call the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 to speak with an attorney today, or visit our website to learn more about how our firm can help you.