Social Media and Family Law / by Cassandra Hearn

Social media is pervasive, with a variety of different platforms available. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are just a few examples of the different types of social media that have become so popular. In the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had nearly two billion users. With such a large portion of society using these different media outlets, it should come as no surprise that social media can play a part in family law cases. Social media allows us to discuss our daily lives with a large audience; as a result, information shared by a party (or their friends) on social media can be a key component to a family law case.

 Using social media can be very useful in child custody cases. A major source of contention in child custody cases can often be whether one parent is adequately supervising a child. Social media evidence can be used to demonstrate that the parent is not spending time with a child or maybe not providing acceptable care. If media posts or check ins demonstrate that a parent is not spending time with a child during parenting time or otherwise taking the child to an inappropriate venue, these can be used at a custody hearing to show that the parent’s parenting time should be reduced. Moreover, if a parent’s social media shows a history of partying or substance abuse, this can be instrumental in successfully arguing that parent’s parenting time needs to be adjusted to keep a child safe.

 In terms of spousal support, social media can also be useful. A history of posting about vacations, shopping, or other types of lavish spending can be used to show that a party either has the ability to pay spousal support or perhaps is not in need of receiving spousal support. For asset division, social media can play an important role in uncovering hidden assets. California is a community property state, meaning that the marital assets are divided equally. Social media posts can even demonstrate if a spouse has transferred an asset during the marriage in an attempt to avoid having that asset divided by the court.   

 If you are facing a family law case and have questions about social media and how it is used in these cases, call us today. We can help you understand the law in California concerning social media and family law. Call us today at 619-800-0384 for a consultation and we can discuss your future.