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Avoiding Social Media During Your Divorce: Navigating the Digital Minefield

Avoiding social media during your divorce is a critical strategy for navigating the digital minefield that modern connectivity has woven into our lives. While these platforms serve as vital channels for personal expression and social interaction, they can quickly become problematic in the context of divorce. Every tweet, post, or photo shared can potentially be scrutinized and used as evidence in legal proceedings, influencing crucial aspects of your case, such as asset division, child custody, and alimony. Understanding the importance of discretion and privacy during such a turbulent time can safeguard your interests and peace of mind.

The Impact of Social Media on Divorce Proceedings

Social media posts, comments, and messages can significantly impact divorce proceedings. What seems like an innocent post can be interpreted as evidence of financial status, personal relationships, or state of mind.  Your spouse’s attorney can use these posts which can have an influence on the decisions regarding alimony, child custody, and asset division. It’s critical to remember that anything you share online can be scrutinized by your spouse’s attorney and used in court.

Some Tips on things you should DO:

Privatize Your Accounts: Increase your privacy settings to limit who can see your posts and personal information. This doesn’t make your posts bulletproof in court, but it’s a layer of protection.

Think Twice Before Posting: Before you share anything, consider how it might be perceived by your spouse or their legal counsel. If it could be misconstrued or used against you, it’s better not to post it.

Seek Offline Support: Instead of venting on social media, turn to close friends, family, or a professional counselor for support. These conversations are private and less likely to be used in the legal process.

Our Recommended List of DON’Ts:

  • Don’t Share Legal Details: Discussing any aspect of your divorce proceedings online is a definite no. This includes venting about your spouse, sharing legal strategies, or talking about your lawyer. Such information is not only inappropriate to share publicly but can also sabotage your legal standing. Remember that what you share with your attorney is privileged information so you do not want to share this information with anyone else.
  • Don’t Post New Relationships: Finding someone new is exciting and It might be tempting to share details about new relationships or outings, but these posts can affect divorce proceedings, especially if child custody or alimony is in question. Wait until the divorce is finalized to share news about new chapters in your life. Not only is this the best course of action for your divorce proceedings, it will be less confusing for your children.
  • Don’t Overshare: Oversharing about your lifestyle, purchases, or travels can lead to questions about your financial status or priorities. Even if you’re not directly posting about expensive purchases, background details in photos or check-ins at luxury venues can raise eyebrows.

Real-World Examples:

Carrie is going through a divorce.  They have 3 children from the marriage.  It’s been a difficult time so she plans a cruise for herself and the 3 children.  She posts about her excitement on social media.  Although her intentions were good, her spouse saw this and shared his beliefs with his attorney that Carrie was planning to take the children and run to another country.  In addition, he questioned the state of her finances since he felt she should not be spending money on a “lavish” vacation and then asking for child support.

Kevin filed for divorce.  He is seeking physical custody of his child.  He posts a photo of him having dinner with a woman friend.  This post is seen by his spouse and used to argue that he has been in an affair for the months prior to the filing of the divorce.  Further, she argues that while he was out at dinner, their minor child was left alone in the home.  Although neither of these are true, Kevin now has to fight these allegations, making his case more difficult and costly.

As you can see from the examples above, you never know who will see your social post and how this could be twisted or misunderstood and ultimately used against you.  Navigating a divorce is challenging enough without the added pressure of social media scrutiny. By following these dos and don’ts, you can protect yourself and ensure that your online presence doesn’t negatively impact your divorce proceedings. Remember, when in doubt, the safest strategy is avoiding social media during your divorce!

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