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Social Media in Divorce and Family Law Cases

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Hi, this is Todd Burnham. Today, we’re going to talk about the perils of social media in a divorce.

Think about this. You’re on Facebook, it’s midnight, and you’re going through, and you see your soon-to-be ex-spouse has a Facebook post. And the post has a picture of your child. And the child is at the bar with the spouse. You’re looking at that in terror and dread and, also, the first thing you’re doing is you’re emailing your divorce attorney saying, “Look at this.”

Nothing good comes from social media posts in a divorce. The only good that it can show is that you’re actively engaged with your child. That’s the only really relevant thing.

When we see social media posts from other parties that say that they don’t have any money and yet they’re putting photos of cash on a bed, and then they don’t block access to those posts, and they allow comments. That’s when everybody else in the community gets to come in and start making comments. You have to understand that anything that you post, you have to assume that it’s going to be viewed and read by a judge.

The only thing that you want to do on social media is look. You’re going to entertain yourself. You’re not going to be the entertainment. Be entertained, not the entertainment. Too much and too often is lost when people are very cavalier in what they post and what they write.

If people are angry about something, they find that it’s appropriate to post something about their spouse and how angry they are because she’s x, y, and z. If I see something like that, I’m using that and starting to ask the person who posted questions about their demeanor, their anger, “Are you angry when you’re around your child like this? Are you angry when you’re around your spouse like this?”

We can use anything and everything to get the point across that we have concerns about x, y, and z. Posting pictures in a bar? “How many beers a night do you drink? How many times do you go to the bar?” Now we’re looking at credit card receipts to see how much time and money you spent at the bar or buying alcohol.

Anything that you do, we’re going to pick it apart. So, here’s the quick thing, the quick and dirty about social media. Stop. Don’t do it. It’s for entertainment and for you to be entertained. You are not the source of the entertainment. Follow those rules, and you’re going to be all right. Thanks.

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Partner - Domestic Relations (Arabic Speaking)


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