A recent Doonesbury cartoon should remind all family law parties to watch what they post to their Facebook page.
While the comic focuses on potential adultery (not a specific ground for dissolution in California), Facebook and other social media posts can potentially impact support and custody/visitation decisions. For example:
- Support: If a party claiming the need for support simultaneously posts photos and status updates about their expensive vacation to Europe, you can expect the opposing party to raise this issue as an argument against support.
- Custody/Visitation: If a party claims that he is the best (and only) person to care for the parties’ child, and photos surface of the child holding a Solo red cup; the other parent may use this information to let the court know about the parent’s “relaxed” parenting style.
In short, if one does not want information before the Court, don’t post it to social media. Don’t rely on your privacy and security settings. Keep your dissolution and opinions about the other party to yourself and share only with your attorney.