Have you changed your relationship status on your social media accounts?
Unfortunately, it’s often the first step when a couple splits in today’s connected world. Sometimes a split is even announced on Facebook, complete with a retrospective photo gallery as couples choose social media as the best way to inform family and friends.
In other cases, a split is more subtle: A suspicious lack of togetherness; a name change; a sudden change in lifestyle; Or a sudden realization that a friend has disappeared from social media.
Social Media’s Impact on New Jersey Divorce
Our Monmouth and Middlesex County divorce lawyers can tell you the quiet disappearing act wins the day when it comes to the courtroom.
The New Jersey Herald recently reported the advice of every lawyer everywhere: Stay off social media if you have a pending court case. Instead, the newspaper’s financial advice columnist mirrored our advice: Focus on what matters by paying attention to the details that will significantly impact your life.
Here you can find our checklist for divorce.
Social media can impact your New Jersey Divorce in many ways.
- Are you suddenly “single” and “interested?” Congratulations, but it’s not going to make you parent of the year.
- Are you well adjusted? Looking fit and tan in your new life? On vacation in the Bahamas while you are pushing for alimony or child support?
- Was Uncle George drunk in the corner of your holiday photos?
- Are you working a lot? Do you have time to parent? Or are the kids having a real blast on social media accounts of their own?
- Did you get a new job? Are you dating? Chances are your ex-spouse’s attorney already knows more about your new job and your new fling than you do, thanks to your social media posts.
Social Media: Evidence in the Courtroom
Social media has also complicated the age-old question of who to trust among the mutual friends you shared with your former spouse. Privacy is a myth. Adjusting your privacy settings is pointless. You should assume everything you post, and everything your friends post, is being closely monitored – to the point you should be ready to answer questions about it in court.
Our Divorce attorneys in Middlesex and Monmouth County know criminal and civil courts continue to wrestle with issues and evidence presented by today’s social media culture. However, such evidence is increasingly finding it’s way into courtrooms across the country.
Last year, the New York Court of Appeals ruled even material deemed “private” by a Facebook user was subject to legal discovery, which means it can be used in court if it has relevance to an issue pending litigation. The New York Law Journal notes the ruling reaffirms generous discovery rules when it comes to admitting proof of matters before the court.
Last year in New Jersey, a court ruled citizens are entitled to know whom town councilmembers blocked from their official Facebook pages. While in Maine, the state’s supreme court ruled a Facebook post violated a no-contact order.
So if you are going through divorce, child custody, or other family law matter in New Jersey, leave the evidence for the courtroom. And stay off social media.
Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.