Can Social Media Messages Be Used in Divorce Court

Can Social Media Messages Be Used in Divorce Court

We use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp to stay connected with friends and family, share photos and life updates, and sometimes vent about personal matters. But if you are going through a divorce in Georgia, it’s critical to understand that what you post on social media might get used as evidence against you in court.

How Social Media Can Impact Your Georgia Divorce Case

During the discovery phase of a divorce proceeding, both spouses and their attorneys work to gather relevant evidence to support their case on issues like property division, alimony, and child custody. This often involves requesting access to the other party’s social media accounts and messages. 

Under Georgia law, social media content is generally admissible in court if it is relevant to the case and can be authenticated, meaning it can be proven that the alleged author posted the content. Even posts and messages that you think are private can be obtained by your spouse and presented as evidence.

Here are some of the main ways social media messages specifically may get used against you in a Georgia divorce:

  • Proving infidelity or inappropriate conduct. If you send flirtatious or sexual messages to someone other than your spouse, this could be used as proof of an extramarital affair. Even if the messages never led to a physical relationship, they may still be damaging to your case, especially if infidelity is the grounds for divorce.
  • Exposing hidden assets or income. Did you brag to a friend over Facebook Messenger about a big bonus at work or a valuable item you recently purchased? If you try to hide these assets during property division negotiations, the messages could be used to prove you were being untruthful about your finances.
  • Calling your parental fitness into question. If you have kids and are fighting for custody, be very careful about the messages you send. Conversations that contain profanity, sexual content, references to drug/alcohol abuse, or disparaging remarks about your children or ex could make you look like an unfit parent in the eyes of the court.
  • Contradicting your claims. If you’re requesting alimony because you cannot work due to disability, your ex might use pictures of you on Instagram to show that you are exaggerating your condition. The same concept applies to any other claims you make that social media posts may contradict.
  • Violating a court order. Sometimes, a judge may order you to limit communication with your spouse, not contact your kids, or avoid posting about the divorce online. This is especially true when there is a restraining order in place. If you violate this order, even in what you think is a private message, you could face legal consequences. 

Don’t Let Social Media Wreck Your Divorce

The best way to prevent social media messages from hurting you in a divorce is to avoid using social platforms entirely until your case is finalized. If that is not realistic, here are some steps to protect yourself:

Set all your profiles to the highest privacy settings. This makes it harder for your spouse or others to access your content. Disable or ignore tags and check-ins from friends that may reveal your location or activities.

Do not post or send messages you would not want read aloud in court. Assume anything you write could become public. This includes making disparaging remarks about your ex online, even if provoked. Keep things civil.

Never send messages that brag about wasteful spending, especially if you simultaneously claim you cannot afford to pay child support or alimony. Avoid posting anything about finances or your divorce during this time. 

Ultimately, a moment of carelessness on social media can have devastating consequences during a divorce. A message you viewed as innocent venting to a friend can be taken out of context and twisted to hurt your case. When emotions run high, it is too easy to send a rash message you regret later. 

Protect Your Interests with an Experienced Atlanta Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is rarely simple, especially when social media is involved. If you are concerned about how your online activity may impact your divorce, contact a skilled Atlanta divorce lawyer at Hobson & Hobson right away. We can review your social media presence, advise you on conducting yourself online during the case, and vigorously defend your interests in any legal proceedings.

At Hobson & Hobson, our knowledgeable divorce attorneys in Atlanta have helped countless clients across Georgia navigate the challenges of social media and divorce. We understand the unique issues that can arise and know how to build a strong case to protect your rights. 

If you’re going through a divorce in Georgia, you need an Atlanta divorce lawyer on your side who can help you through this difficult time. Contact us today at (770) 284-6153 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. 

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