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Social Media – the Trail of Breadcrumbs that Leads to Trial

Social media saturates our society, with Facebook, Instagram and tweets not just from teenagers, but also from the President of the United States, no less. Electronic communications have largely replaced old-style methods such as letters and simple phone calls. However, these developments are not without a significant downside.

Many people who use electronic communications naïvely assume a level of privacy and security that is simply not there. Messages, photos and opinions sent to intended recipients are often widely disseminated to a much larger, unintended audience.
Embarrassment is not the only consequence of unintended distribution. There can be legal consequences as well. Smart phone records, emails and other computer files can be subpoenaed and introduced into evidence in court.

Family lawyers are quite familiar with shocking messages and compromising pictures, offered by a client who considers them ammunition against the soon-to-be ex, usually in the context of a child custody dispute.

Divorce court is not the only arena in which indiscreet behavior and statements can come back to haunt the writer. Many a job applicant has remained unemployed as a result of a potential employer doing a background search and turning up the applicant’s unsavory personal history on the Internet. And quite a few employees have lost their jobs due to on-line behavior.

The point is to be prudent in one’s communications. Do not assume that a document’s trail stops with the intended recipient, and do not assume that simply deleting the image or message will actually eliminate it.

Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in determining whether you can enforce grandparent rights. Call us at 913 236 7260 or 816 421 4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.