Social Media and Electronic Communication as Evidence in Family Law

We see it in the news all the time – “Social Media Becomes Bearer of Bad News for Divorcing Celebrity Couples”.

We give the following advice to our family law clients: Do not write a Facebook post, text or e-mail under stress or immediately in reaction to your soon to be ex-spouse or partner. Before you post, text or e-mail you should think about it as a possible exhibit the other side will attempt to admit in court. A best practice to consider is to not post anything on social media at all during your pending case. Everything that you say on Facebook, in a text message, in an e-mail or on any other social networking site can be used as evidence, often with consequences and against you in your divorce case.

Facebook

In terms of Facebook, you should not discuss your child custody or divorce case at all. One of the first things the opposing attorney will do is to look up your Facebook page for controversial evidence. You should consider cleaning up your Facebook page prior to filing an action. Be aware that deleting evidence could be considered destruction of evidence, so consult with your attorney before doing so.

Email

As far as email, make sure that you send email to your attorney without adding other third parties to the email.  You may compromise confidentiality between you and your attorney by adding other third parties.  Also, be careful of sending emails regarding agreements to the opposing party prior to having your attorney approve such agreement.

Further, make sure to not hack into the opposing party’s email even if you have their password.  Federal and state laws prohibit unlawful interception of electronic communications, so a spouse that accesses the other spouse’s computer or email without authority should be cautioned that such activity may result in the exclusion of the electronic evidence and subject them to legal sanctions.

E-mail, Texts and Social Media Can be Admitted as Evidence

When it comes to texts, emails, and voicemail, clients often forget that these communications can also be introduced as evidence in court. Colorado courts routinely admit social media postings and emails into evidence in family law cases. Text messaging and e-mail correspondence can be an effective way to communicate with the opposing party, however, be mindful of lashing out when frustrated. 

Kalamaya | Goscha is a Colorado law firm founded by Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha. We guide and support clients through determining and modifying child support. Our boutique mountain law practice specializes in divorce, child custody, and family law. Kalamaya | Goscha has law offices in Edwards, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs. To speak to one of our capable attorneys call (970) 315-2365.

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