Secret accounts, messages from strangers and reconnecting with old flames have all been made very easy with social media. Throughout my years as a paralegal, I have seen Facebook and social media as a factor in the demise of many relationships.
Facebook Divorce Statistics
According to FindLaw, “Information found on popular social networking sites has given divorce lawyers new tools in their divorce toolkits. Facebook and other sites are changing the legal landscape in divorce and child custody cases.” FindLaw reports that two-thirds of U.S. lawyers say Facebook is the primary source of evidence used in divorce cases.
During a divorce or child custody case, your social media account is fair game. In fact, more often than not, opposing attorneys will request a complete download of the opposing party’s Facebook archive. This archive includes all those secret messages you thought you deleted and anything you’ve ever put on Facebook. This information can then be used against you in your lawsuit.
Do Not Delete Anything
If you are involved in legal action, do not delete anything until you have discussed it with your lawyer first. If the judge finds out that you have deleted this information, you could be found guilty of destroying evidence, which is a very serious violation. The very fact that you deleted this information during your lawsuit can then be used against you. Destruction of evidence can lead to serious consequences, including the loss of child custody by a parent.
The moral of this story is: do not send messages that you don’t want to be displayed in a courtroom where you will have to explain why you said what you said or why you were communicating with that person in the first place.