You may have heard the saying, “Never put into writing anything you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of the paper.” In this day and age of technology, anything you do or think and document on social media should hold that same rule. And when you are in the midst of a divorce, pictures you post on Instagram, and comments you make on Facebook are just as critical – they can impact your divorce proceedings.
Social Media Content May Be Used As Evidence In Divorce Proceedings.
Information that you share on your social media platforms may be used against you in a court of law. This public information includes items that you post, comments that you make, and pictures you are tagged in on social media. Digital messages such as text messages and emails can also be used in a court of law.
Posts that may not seem to impact your case could, in deed, be harmful to your case. For example, images on social media of vacationing at a luxury resort could contradict your moderate financial claims. Particularly damaging information shared on social media while in the midst of divorce proceedings include:
Spending Habits or Financial Assets: Because your social media content is public, photos or comments about your resources, financial assets, or spending habits can tell a story online that differs from the story you want told about your financial standings. This information could be used when dividing shared assets in a divorce arrangement.
Information about a new relationship: Being in another relationship before your divorce is finalized could impact property settlements or even custody decisions. Custody decisions and parenting arrangements could be decided with consideration to other people that you regularly bring into contact with your children. The person in this new relationship could be subject to examination by the courts owing to their involvement with your children. Rushing to the social media airwaves to announce a new love in your life could also increase animosity between you and your spouse and cause increased conflict during the divorce proceedings.
Negative comments about your spouse: In your social media world, as in real life, you and your spouse probably share many family and friends. A public rant regarding your spouse on social media can be hurtful to family and friends who have connections to you both. Additionally, if there are children involved, mean-spirited negative comments about your spouse can reflect on your character in deciding parenting arrangements.
Reckless or morally questionable behaviors: Activities you post on social media can also be considered when determining child custody and in developing a parenting plan. To put your best foot forward, you want to ensure your best character that is presented during the divorce proceedings matches that of your social media profile.
Disabling Your Social Media Is The Best Route.
While you may opt to unfriend your spouse and continue to use social media more carefully and with increased privacy settings, the safest option is to disable your social media accounts entirely for the season of your divorce proceedings. Even if you do not post an item yourself, if a friend tags you in a post or photo, those items are deemed public and can be admissible in a court of law. Disabling your social media accounts is the best avenue to mitigate the impact your social media accounts may have in your divorce proceedings. Do not go so far as deleting your social media accounts as that action could be viewed as an attempt to hide evidence. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a few trustworthy friends in real life over a cup of coffee is a better option than posting to 400 virtual friends.