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Your social media activity may impact your case

With the widespread prevalence of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, sharing your daily activities and pictures can be second nature. However, the things you post on social media can have a detrimental impact on the outcome of a bankruptcy or divorce case. It is important that you and other Arizona residents understand how social media may backfire when you are in the middle of a legal matter.

Whether you like to share your day-to-day activities with close friends and family or show the world that you live a fun and interesting life, another party in a legal case may easily use posts against you. Here, we will discuss how this can happen.

Social media and bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, you must list your assets in your bankruptcy petition, which are then used to determine how much to repay your creditors before you receive a discharge of your debts. If you go on a weekend lake trip and post pictures of your boat that you did not disclose to the bankruptcy court, you might face allegations of fraud. Other signs that you may be doing better off than you claim include posts or pictures describing expensive dinners, large purchases or vacations.

Online posts and divorce

The same is true when you are going through a divorce. Anything that you post online, which others can see, might be a factor in determining property division, alimony or child custody. A judge may believe that you have more money than you claim, or that you are not taking your responsibilities as seriously as you should, based on posts you deem completely innocent, such as selfies at a party to relieve the stress of your divorce.

How can you avoid someone else using social media posts against you in a legal matter? You could adjust your privacy settings so only friends may view your posts. Avoid putting anything up that may be incriminating, such as pictures that suggest you are spending a lot of money. Remember, however, that there may be some people in your friends list who might side with the other party, especially during a divorce. The most effective solution is to take a break from social media altogether until things die down.

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  • MCBA | Maricopa County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • ABA | American bar Association | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Oregon State bar
  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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