Social media and text message/email exchanges are sometimes one of the greatest sources of evidence in some family law cases, particularly in child custody and domestic violence cases. Everything that you put out on the internet can (and does) come back to haunt you. On the flip side, it is often beneficial to put certain things in writing. This blog explores social media and media communication as it relates to family law. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
Social Media and Child Custody
North Carolina uses the best interest of the child standard in determining child custody. A family law judge will consider all admissible and relevant evidence. So, if you are posting things that call your behavior as it relates to your parenting into question, this may be considered by the judge.
Social Media and Divorce
Although divorce in North Carolina does not require the consent of both parties, there are aspects of a contested divorce that could be affected by your behavior. For example, if there is an alimony action, adultery will have overwhelming implications on that proceeding. Social media postings may sometimes provide evidence of adultery. This evidence may also be used against one’s paramour, should there be an action for criminal conversation or alienation of affection.
What About Text Messages?
Text messages can actually be very helpful in demonstrating certain aspects of your case. It is generally helpful to have things in writing, as long as you are not doing things that you shouldn’t be. For example, if you communicate about the child exchanges and your ex later alleges that you are not following the visitation schedule properly (and are thus in contempt of court), you will have great evidence to the contrary. Particularly if your situation is contentious, the more [positive things] that you put in writing, the better. Even if you are one of the lucky few individuals able to resolve things amicably, putting certain things in writing may not be a bad idea. Talk to your family law attorney for advice on this matter.
Now, there is of course a flip side to this. Any negative or potentially “scandalous” text messages may make their way into the opposing party’s family law attorney’s hands. It is very common for family law attorneys to receive evidence of text messages that contain threats, nudity, sex acts, adultery, drug use, domestic violence, admissions of wrongdoing, etc. All of these texts may wind up being presented as evidence in court at your trial. So, do be careful about what you text and to whom.
The bottom line is that it is important to remember that we live in an age of information, and anything you put out there can come back around to haunt you. With this in mind, use your best judgment when engaging in social media or technological communications, particularly if you are in the midst of a family law case or are facing criminal charges. If you find yourself facing a family law matter, contact us to speak with a family law attorney. Gilles Law practices family law in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas.