Can Facebook and Text Messages Be Used As Evidence In Family Court?
We get this question at least 96 times a day from parents calling in for help.
As we have seen an enormous increase in ways to communicate with one another through technology in the past 5 years with text messaging, face-time, Facebook, Skype, Google groups, and many others, this has transformed our ability to keep in touch with those who are closest. Our children, for most of us, are the most important to maintain close contact with. Like most things in life the laws are always trailing behind the changes in society, cultural perspective, and, surprise, especially technology. Family court judges are bombarded with print outs of digital conversations from one side to the other when reviewing exhibits and evidence presented by the parties involved when determining a ruling for their parenting plan.
We have seen a good influx in the amount of facts in separations by use of these applications. It has gotten to the point where we give parents the talk that every electronic transmission or text sent, and post they make, can be used as evidence within their case. Even, each and every phone call they’ve made could also be considered evidence. Social media has turned into a vast method to obtain evidence within family court, and creates plenty of tension sometimes. No one would rather see his or her spouse bad-mouthing each other via the internet, also it often escalates minor situations into large, problematic confrontations.
Now while you have proof that your partner is putting up what a “ding-bat” you happen to be, that doesn’t mean that your Facebook posts will in fact be related, or admissible in court. When involved in a custody case, then your evidence regarding the negative contact that is being published could be relevant, simply because posting bad comments won’t create a good parenting environment. It can also be used to display the character of one’s spouse. However this is usually just the case when they are posted publicly. Discovering text messages directed to groups of their friends, slandering and bad mouthing you might not be beneficial. Every judge knows that parties going through divorce may speak poorly concerning the other side due to the emotional turbulence of a breakup. The important portion is whether they are doing it publicly or even in front in the children. Telling your best friend in private that your spouse isn’t your favorite individual can be expected in most cases. But submitting it about Facebook so all with their friends and family, or perhaps worse their children, can be detrimental for you. Similarly, if you held on event with hundreds of people and expressed your utmost dissatisfaction with your spouse can be very harmful to your position.
Facebook along with emails may also be used generally now to demonstrate where people ended up or what you were doing close to their children. It is unbelievable how someone can post that they are clean and sober, and they have numerous photos of partying, drinking beer while driving, or doing drugs while their kids are right next to them. All too often a parent states they never ever do drugs and we discover pictures on Instagram of them having a bong and a puff. One of the worst things you can do is write on your Facebook wall: “The judge actually bought my personal lies in Court these days!”, your parenting days could be over if push came to shove and the other parent wanted to bring you back to court.
Our main point to you if you’re are getting a divorce, or perhaps going through a custody case, quit being a child about it, regardless of what you think your spouse is. Letting ridiculous and childish messages getting involved with the evidence arsenal is probably the last thing that you want, and could make you seem bad in all areas of your case. If you learn your spouse is carrying this out, be sure to make note of this in your case. How parties act within a case could make or break them in the courtroom. Any confirmed dishonesty in court by a judge could be detrimental for you indefinitely.
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