Be Careful What You Post (It Could Impact Your New Jersey Divorce)
By Snyder & Sarno on February 14, 2014
Every day, people all over the world connect to each other through their social media accounts, whether through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social networking site or mobile application. For many people, social media is a regular part of their lives, and they use it to share all of their pictures, thoughts, and feelings sometimes even daily. People going through a divorce, who continue to share their lives with others using social media, should know that whatever they post may be viewed by their soon to be former spouse.
Thus, when sharing and using social media, you must keep in mind that it may end up as part of your New Jersey divorce. Photographs and posts that are posted to your social media profile can be used as evidence during your divorce trial. This is most likely to occur if you have not been honest in your divorce matter, or if instead, you may have been honest in your divorce proceedings, but are not honest in your social media posts.
For example, if you have hidden assets or finances in your divorce matter, you are likely to get caught by posting pictures of those assets or updating your status about how excited you are to receive your bonus, etc. The Court will want to utilize your true income or assets when determining alimony, child support, or equitable distribution, so the Judge will take notice when one spouse produces “evidence” through social media posts that there may be additional assets or income not initially disclosed. Along the same lines, if you move for a decrease in financial support because you cannot afford to keep paying the current obligation, then subsequently brag on Facebook about the expensive dinner or vacation you just went on, this can be used as evidence against your claim of an inability to pay. You may have innocently posted on Facebook to impress your friends about a ticket to a big game that you scored. However, your posting about it online could be to your detriment when your former spouse shows your post to the Judge.
Additionally, what you post on social media could affect your custody order. If you post pictures that could be interpreted as placing your children in harm’s way, or acting in a way that is not in the best interests of your child (such as drinking, etc. during your parenting time), your parenting time or custody of your children may be jeopardized.
Many people who have private social media accounts think that they are safe from these implications and that their actions online will not affect them. However, it is important for you to remember that there is nothing stopping the people that you do allow to access your profile from printing out your comments and photographs and providing them to your spouse to be used against you. So, even if you think your information is private, it can still make its way to your spouse.
Further, if your spouse has a restraining order against you and you post something about him or her or threatening him or her, even if your spouse does not personally have access to your account, the court may deem it as an effort to contact and/or intimidate your spouse, which is a violation of your restraining order. This will have wide-ranging implications not only in your New Jersey divorce, but also in your personal life, including possible jail time.
So, when interacting on social media during your New Jersey divorce, think before you post. Think about who has access to your profile, and think about how what you are about to post could impact your New Jersey divorce case.
If you have questions or concerns about your New Jersey divorce, please contact the experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers at Snyder & Sarno at (973) 274-5200.
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