Social Media and Family Court Cases

Social Media and Family Court Cases
By M. J. Goodwin

Social media is an important part of every day life for most Americans. This is especially true for people involved in Family Court litigation. Just this week, I have seen several incidents of clients bringing me things that were posted by the other party or even friends of the other party on either Facebook or Instagram.  Those posts turned out to be useful in their child custody or visitation case.

So what should do you need to know and do if you see a post that might be useful in litigation?
1. Preserve the post! The easiest thing to do is to take a screen shot of the post. It is helpful if the date and time are on the post. If the date and time are not on the post, make a note for yourself as to the date and time of the post. For example, a post of a person who is supposed to be with their child engaging in partying, drug use or sexual activity, can help prove that the person is either not with the child or is exposing the child to undesirable behavior.
2. Understand that law enforcement is not going to get involved unless a crime has occurred. So don’t waste their time by calling 911 or even the non-emergency line. Take the post to your lawyer. Don’t take it to the police.
3. Resist the urge to respond to the post, comment on the post or make your own post. Just as you can use the evidence you discover, the other side can also use evidence you create. Don’t be your own worst enemy.

If you need help with a Family Court matter in Anderson or Abbeville counties in South Carolina, please contact me at mj@mjgoodwin.com

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