If you’re like legions of other Michigan residents, you have a sizable online presence. That is, you are actively engaged on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms that dominate the Internet.
Lots of people already know that.
In fact, social networking online is something that people across the globe collectively do many billions of times each day. Your online communications likely go out to scores of people encompassing family members, friends, acquaintances and even individuals you don’t even know. In turn, many of those people “tag” or “tweet” messages and images you have uploaded to still other people.
What that commonly means is this: Personal data that you haven’t closely guarded can ultimately end up being seen by an uninvited audience.
Including judges or opposing legal counsel in a family law case.
Consider the ramifications of that, and the myriad scenarios that have played out in real life. Individuals embroiled in child custody disputes have been seen taking illegal drugs in online party photos. The arguments of some who contend they cannot afford to pay child support are belied by vacation images.
We note at the established family law firm of Hauer & Snover the potential for an individual’s online presence to factor adversely into a family law outcome. Given such a possibility, any individual involved in divorce proceedings should assume that everything about them online is prime material for judicial scrutiny.
That likely means this: Any derogatory social media evidence that exists will probably be seen by a judge and perhaps acted upon to a party’s detriment.
There is an antidote to that, which we note on our website. If you are an active online participant, you might reasonably want “to take a break from non-business-related social networking and blogging while you are dealing with legal issues.”