Whether you are simply contemplating the idea of divorce or in the middle of a full-on legal battle, your best bet with your social media accounts is to disconnect them. Turn them off. Shut them down. Stop posting. Make it impossible for people to post to your account. “Go dark.” Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google. Shut them all down. Every Single. One. Of. Them. Simply put, divorce and social media do not mix.
I know…you think I am overreacting. You see these social media sites as a harmless way to keep family and friends apprised of your goings on; swap photos of pets, kids or the like; plan get togethers; chat and keep up with friends. Sure, the social media sites do exactly that. But in harmless ways, or not-so-harmless ways, your social media can come back to bite you.
Think about it. Your information is posted on the internet. If your spouse is a contact on your social media, s/he has access to all of the information on there. Even if your spouse is not in your contacts, the two of you more than likely share friends. Your information can be obtained through those friends. Even with settings of “private,” there is always a chance that your information is out there. Something you might not know or think of is that the information can be sought via court order in some circumstances.
What can be so harmful? Here’s a few examples: You’re in the middle of a custody battle and are photographed out in a bar partying. You’re seeking more support for the kids, but recently posted a picture of a new (yet necessary) car. You’re in court arguing about custody and visitation when your baby’s father pulls out pictures from a social media site showing you in a risqué position or scantily clad outfit. We’ve all seen it in the media: Tiger Woods. A-Rod. Eliot Spitzer. Jesse James. Ryan Phillipe.
Other attorneys often use social media as a go-to for evidence as stated here:
Frequently, divorce and family law attorneys use postings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the many other social networking sites as evidence. For example, posts and photos depicting one partner’s social life could come across to a judge as showing a disregard for responsibility, excessive drug or alcohol use, or other behavior that might impair that person’s interests when it comes to negotiating alimony, child custody, or divisions of assets. (see https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=27803)
Don’t get me wrong. I think that social media is wonderful in your everyday life. It’s just not something that you want in your life during divorce. Pick up the phone and do it the old fashioned way – at least for now.
If you are in the midst of a separation or divorce or need legal advice about the possibility of such an event in your life, contact our office.