With how social media has progressed since the early 2000’s, nearly everyone has posted things online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. that can negatively affect them later on. During a divorce, many people make the mistake of posting things that they shouldn’t as well as leaving things readily available for people to find and use against them in court.
To avoid the negative pitfalls that can come with social media during a divorce, we’ve put together a list of social media guidelines you should follow to improve the potential outcome of your divorce, or at least reduce the potential negative consequences.
Check Your Privacy Settings: Social media platforms are required to allow you to adjust your privacy settings on who can see your posts. During a divorce, we highly recommend that you disable or prevent anyone from seeing your posts, especially the public, your spouse, and people in their circle. You can restrict everything on these platforms and you should also give us a heads up of whatever might come up so we can get ahead of whatever might affect your case. If you’re going through a divorce, you may want to filter through your friends list and create specific groups for people you want to restrict access to your profile.
While there isn’t current legislation that determines how Facebook posts are handled as evidence in the court of law, previous cases have cited the Stored Communications Act as a reference for only allowing public posts be presented in court as evidence.
Don’t Write or Speak Negatively of Your Ex-Spouse: No matter how frustrating your situation may be, do not post negative, false, or statements that can’t be proven about your soon to be ex-spouse on Facebook. If you are in a particularly messy divorce situation and/or custody battle, the Facebook posts you post could be used against you in your case.
Don’t Speak Ill of the Judge: Avoid expressing anything of the judge’s decisions on Facebook or other social media platforms to your friends. It’s understandable that you want the sympathy of your friends during this stressful time, however publicly insulting the person in charge of determining who has custody of your children is not the best course of action. It’s also a poor decision to think that private messaging someone is a good idea either.
Be Conscious of What You Post: If you and your spouse are in custody battles, it’s a sure bet their attorney will be searching for any source of information they can find that discredits you as a responsible parent. Abstain from sharing inappropriate or off-color jokes or photos, stop checking in to those stores, bars, and restaurants and under no circumstances post provocative photos of yourself.
Consequences of Social Media Posts
Facebook and other social media posts can also be used as evidence of assets. If you’ve told the judge you’re too broke to pay alimony, but you’re posting recent photos of you making large purchases and living an extravagant lifestyle outside of the norm, then these photos could be used as evidence of your financial assets.
The vast majority of divorce attorneys in the United States have used social media content as evidence in a divorce case. One of the best options you can choose is to disable your social media accounts temporarily until the divorce is finalized.
If you’re thinking of getting a divorce, our Dallas / Fort Worth divorce attorneys are available to help you today. With over a decade of experience you can sure our attorneys will provide you with personalized legal solutions, and be accessible and attentive to your needs.