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Your Facebook Profile May Be Used Against You in Family Court

By Nottage and Ward on February 27, 2012

Social networking has become part of our day-to-day lives, and although some people infrequently engage in online social networking, others religiously share their thoughts, emotions, frustrations, joys, and, not to mention, pictures for every occasion. The most popular social media site to do all this is Facebook. The problem? What happens on Facebook does not necessarily stay on Facebook. If you are currently in the divorce process or in a child custody battle, what you have on your Facebook profile may be used against you, according to an article in The Legal Intelligencer.

Though the law journal article discusses how Facebook is used in Pennsylvania family law cases, the fact is that Facebook has become a relevant factor in family law cases in courts nationwide. The decisions a court makes concerning divorce, maintenance, child support, and child custody may all be impacted by what is on a party’s Facebook profile, although, if the separating couple files for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, proving that one spouse cheated on the other using Facebook pictures and posts will have little to no impact. Child custody cases may be a different story, however.

After a couple separates, they must avoid posting status updates and/or photos on their Facebook profile, at least until after the case is over. If one spouse brags on Facebook about how he or she has been siphoning marital funds into his or her own individual account, or how he or she did not declare certain income, those statements can be used by the other spouse to secure an appropriate maintenance amount. If one spouse has multiple photos of him- or herself being drunk on Facebook, those may be used against him or her in a child custody dispute.

If it is public information that anyone can read, then it may be used against you. At Nottage and Ward, we understand how stressful and frustrating divorce and child custody issues can be, but, as experienced Chicago family law attorneys, we urge our clients to protect themselves and their interests by avoiding revealing information or posting pejorative attacks on their spouses or the system on their Facebook accounts. There are a great many factors that may impact your family law case, and we can help you prepare for each and every one. To discuss your family law matter with one of our lawyers, contact us today at (312) 332-2915.

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