How social media could hurt your family law case in Tennessee

Social media posts can make their way into the courtroom, which could prove damaging for people going through a divorce in Tennessee.

Social media is more than just a fad; it is now a viable form of communication and marketing. Businesses and individuals in Tennessee use it regularly to share information, have a conversation and even sell a product. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that 74 percent of adults who use the Internet are on social media in some format.

Because these sites have become commonplace, it can be easy for people to post without putting much thought into it. However, experts warn that doing so could actually do damage to those who are dealing with divorce, child custody issues, or other legal battles.

Proceed with caution

Unlike other states, Tennessee law does not require couples to wait a certain period of time before being able to file for a divorce.

While it can be tempting to end the divorce process as quickly as possible, taking the time to make sure the correct and fair decisions are made is essential. During this time, experts warn both parties use social media with caution. A divorce can take some time, especially when trying to determine sensitive issues such as who will have custody of the children.

Social media's role in divorce

Something posted online is rarely private. Even though many sites permit users to block certain people from seeing posts, others may be able to view the information and pass it along.

For example, a couple is going through a divorce. One spouse suspects the other is trying to deplete or hide assets in order to skew the property division process. A friend of the spouse confirms these suspicions, reporting posts to social media that the other spouse has made depicting expensive trips and new purchases.

As Forbes magazine points out, social media postings can now be used in court as evidence. Disparaging or negative comments about children - even if they are made in jest - could be used to make a case for custody.

Basic advice

Experts agree that couples going through divorce should not post anything on social media that they would not want a judge to see in court. Even a deleted post may have been captured via screenshot. Text messages and emails can also be saved and presented in the courtroom. When in doubt, it is best for people to avoid putting something in writing.

Anyone who has questions or concerns about this issue should speak with a family law attorney in Tennessee.