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In an “E-World,” E is for Evidence and Eternity

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In an “E-World,” E is for Evidence and Eternity

Those Facebook and Twitter status boxes can be an ever-so-tempting place to unleash all the pain and anger stemming from a divorce, but consider this before you update: information posted to social media can (and will) be used as legal evidence.

That means that seemingly harmless life details can quickly be taken out of context in court. For example, posting about escaping to Mexico for a few days or splurging on Broncos tickets could weaken your case for needing alimony or for arguing you cannot afford spousal support. The same goes for posting photographs at parties or social events where you are “enjoying the single life;” these images can very easily be misconstrued to assassinate your character and deem you unfit for child custody. Finally, “checking in” to locations literally provides a trail of your latest habits and can even endanger you in violent or aggressive divorces.

While you ought to think twice about what you are posting, you should also use social media to your advantage. Don’t login under your spouse’s account information and snoop that way, but certainly look through photographs, status updates, and new friends to build your own case. It’s amazing how often our own ego betrays us.

Our founder, Doug Thomas, has a saying he often repeats: The “e” in “e-mail” stands for evidence and eternity. In this modern cyber world, nothing disappears””not even those Snapchats that supposedly evaporate after a few minutes. There are always screenshots, printed copies and NSA records, so don’t share something unless you are willing to do so with the whole world. And lest you think your super-secret, nonsensical password is impossible to guess, or you’ve set your privacy to “Ninja,” your social media accounts can still be subpoenaed by a judge. In fact, Facebook was implicated in a third of all divorce filings in 2011.

As one Huffington Post reader put it: “Remember: Some people call them ”˜posts.’ Attorneys call them ”˜exhibit A.’”