Many people are utilizing online networking tools such as Facebook and MySpace. There are many benefits to using those sites. On a personal level, individuals are able to keep in touch with friends and family, or learn about what long-lost acquaintances have been doing with their lives. Social networking sites have expanded the way people are able to communicate with each other, and allows people to keep more in touch than they otherwise may have.
However, individuals need to be careful in what they post. It is not uncommon in this day and age for a party’s Facebook or MySpace page to enter into a family law case as exhibits to the other party’s affidavit. The information is useful when one party is creating an image to present to the court, often in the case of child custody, that they are the better parent. If there are substance abuse issues, this comes up when one party asserts they do not abuse any chemicals and have not for some time. If there are any pictures on that individual’s Facebook or MySpace pages showing anything to the contrary, they will be used against the individual in court. This damages that individual’s credibility, and depending on the pictures or comments that are found, may harm their chances in a custody proceeding.
Individuals do not realize that the information posted on the internet is out there forever. While you may change your privacy settings or delete information you previously had posted, it may not be gone for good. Individuals involved in family law disputes need to be cognizant of the effects this can have on them and should use common sense when utilizing these websites.