Facebook can haunt you in a divorce or child support case

Social media is still a recent invention, and as a society, we are still adjusting to how it affects our lives. But one thing is clear, Facebook is the greatest invention for generating evidence for divorce attorneys and, at least in one case, district attorneys.

This story comes from Wisconsin, but clearly applies to anywhere people have access to computers, smart phones and Facebook. A man with a $150 per month child support obligation had never made a payment. But on his Facebook page, he posed with a pile of $20 bills and expensive liquor. Not a good idea. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office has charged him with felony counts of failure to support his three-year old.

In the last few years, divorce attorneys have been cautioning their clients to avoid or minimize their presence on social media like Facebook and Twitter, all while hoping the other side stays busy posting. Because nothing undercuts someone's credibility with a court faster than a well-documented, expensive vacation, while they are pleading poverty regarding child support or spousal support payments.

The other danger of sources like Facebook, email and other computer records is that once they are on a hard drive or worse, a cloud server, they may be there forever, and remain discoverable years after you had long forgotten them.

If you are thinking about a divorce, now is the time to shut down your use of social media, because if it is embarrassing or difficult to explain, someone will find it and use it against you in a court of law.

Source: ABC News, "Facebook Money Pics Bust Dad for Allegedly Dodging Child Support," Alexa Valiente, March 22, 2013