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Social media during divorce: be careful what you post

When Georgia couples were divorcing 10 or 20 years ago, the thought of watching their social media presence during court proceedings would have been unheard of, in part because social media wasn't a part of our everyday lives as it is now. Yet today, a wise divorce lawyer would warn clients to severely limit or even cut out social media from their lives. Posting the wrong thing could cause a host of family law issues that may find their way to court and negatively affect the way a judge handles divorce and child custody.

While avoiding social media altogether would be the best way to hinder a divorce proceeding, it is often improbable. Sometimes it is actually necessary to have a social media presence, which is why it is important that Georgians going through divorce must be careful about what they put on the Internet.

Take, for example, attorney-client privilege. What lawyers and clients talk about behind closed doors is confidential and cannot be used in court. The only way that privilege can be broken, however, is if a client talks to someone other than his or her lawyer about the conversation. So posting anything about what a lawyer has said on Facebook or Twitter may destroy whatever privilege a client had.

 Moreover, pictures can be misconstrued and used against an individual. If someone posts a picture with an alcoholic beverage, his or her spouse could try to argue the individual has a drinking problem. If pictures are posted where an one spouse seems quite friendly with another person, the other spouse could accuse the first spouse of cheating.

Being careful about what is posted online is not just something teenagers need to keep in mind. Anyone going through a divorce in Georgia should be cautious about how they use their social media accounts.

Source: WTOP, "Navigating social media during a divorce," Neal Augenstein, Sept. 9, 2013

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