Social media and uncomfortable questions in a divorce
Ever been deposed? Most people will answer no, and may comment that they have seen deposition in a movie or on television. Sadly, those tend to be somewhat overly dramatized, making them more interesting than reality. During a divorce proceeding in Illinois, you may be deposed, and that takes us to the subject of social media.
A deposition during a divorce case, child custody dispute or an issue of property division involves you, sitting in a room with your spouse’s divorce attorney, and they ask you questions. You have to answer those questions, unless there is a real possibility of your being prosecuted for a criminal matter.
Your answers to those questions will be used to assess your credibility. If you have a substantial, or any, presence on social media, like Facebook or Twitter, you are in danger during those depositions.
All that social media content can be used to “impeach” your answers from the deposition. If there are any discrepancies, you will essentially be asked the question in front of a judge, “Are you lying now or were you lying then?”
Another problem with social media is the potential for an expletive laden tweet or posting becoming known to your former spouse and their attorney. Do not think using a privacy setting will prevent this type of material wider publication. Someone will see it and provide it to your ex-spouse.
Given the risk, any posting could be view out of context and be embarrassing or damaging to your interests. During any dispute, closing out all of your accounts may be the safest course of action unless you are absolutely certain you can control your posts.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Divorce Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making,” Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014