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Social media posts as evidence in divorce cases

Family law attorneys in Florida and across the U.S. know that social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can offer gold mines of evidence that could help their clients. Information shared on social media sites often reveal undeclared income or poor parenting behavior.

A person might try to limit how much spousal or child support they owe by hiding income. Posts on social media, however, present a family court with evidence to the contrary when images and text show expensive vacations, large purchases or a side business. One divorce attorney explained that, before social media, such information may have taken weeks of investigation to uncover.

Child custody could also be influenced by behavior displayed on social media. During a dispute, a parent might offer Facebook posts about the other spouse drinking as evidence that the children should not be with that parent. Attorneys who represent people going through a divorce or custody dispute recommend that their clients cease all activity on social media. They should not delete their accounts, however, because a court might view that action as destruction of evidence.

Someone struggling with family legal issues might choose to seek advice from an attorney. In addition to explaining parental rights and how laws might dictate the division of property during a divorce, an attorney could engage the other party in negotiations or prepare paperwork for a court. The lawyer might also address post-divorce issues such as custody modifications. Depending on the client's goals, documentation could be assembled that supports a person's desire for joint custody, sole custody or an expanded visitation schedule. To help the client, an attorney could strive to show that the modification would be better for the children.

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Brandon Family Law Center, LLC

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