What You Post Can Impact Your Case. Here’s What You Need to Know
Experts estimate that there are 4.8 billion social media users worldwide, so it’s no surprise that social media has become an essential part of our lives. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that social media has become a big part of Minnesota family law cases. In our state, the way you use social media can have a significant effect on your case.
The information you share on social media can be used as evidence in Minnesota family law cases. The impact of this situation can be far-reaching, potentially leading to the dissolution of a marriage, prompting investigations by Child Protective Services, and even influencing decisions regarding child custody and the division of assets.
It is essential to recognize the gravity of this matter and approach it with utmost care and consideration. The consequences involved emphasize the need for thorough evaluation and awareness of the potential implications that can arise from such circumstances.
Social Media and Evidence in Minnesota Family Courts
Social media posts may be introduced as evidence in pending Minnesota family law cases if those posts are relevant to your case and proven to be authentic. If the opposing party attempts to use social media evidence in your case, the judge may ask you if you created the post or if it features you. If the social post is valid and was obtained legally, it’s very likely that the judge will admit it as evidence in your case.
There are many ways that social media posts are commonly used as evidence in Minnesota family court proceedings, including:
Information about things you’ve bought or vacations you’ve taken can affect the way the court defines your assets and makes child support or spousal support decisions.
Photos that show a parent clearly intoxicated or using drugs can affect child custody decisions.
Threats and negative comments can be used to show a pattern of abuse in divorce or child custody cases.
Using Social Media Safety When You’re Going to Court
Some individuals opt to take a break from social media during family court proceedings. While this can be a good idea, it may not be entirely necessary. There are several steps you can take to safeguard your interests and your family.
Be Careful What You Post
It’s important to refrain from using social media as a platform to vent about your ex or share information about your case. Doing so can have negative consequences. Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid discussing money, showcasing nights out, new romantic relationships, or vacations in your posts. Instead, focus on sharing family-friendly content, such as posts about time spent on family activities.
Examine Your Privacy Settings, But Don’t Trust Them Completely
It’s crucial to be aware that simply setting your social media account to “private” does not provide foolproof protection against others accessing your posts. Even in such cases, there are instances where a third party, such as an ex-partner or co-parent, could potentially view what you publish through a mutual friend’s account.
It’s important to note that relying solely on the privacy settings of your account doesn’t guarantee that your friends won’t share or screen capture what you say on social media platforms. Even comments from well-meaning friends can inadvertently incentivize the other party to dig deeper and uncover more information about you. Therefore, exercising caution and being mindful of what you post remains essential in safeguarding your online presence and personal information.
When You Need Legal Help, Contact White & Associates
White & Associates, with offices in Elk River, is dedicated to guiding clients through a wide range of complex family law matters, including divorce and child custody proceedings. If you would like to discuss your situation, our lawyers are available at 763-241-0477