Social Media and Divorce: What You Need to Know
If you’re going through a divorce, using social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other sites can seem like a way to feel better during a difficult time. The ability to vent online, keep loved ones up-to-date about proceedings and find new friends is tempting, but social media and divorce are an uneasy combination. In fact, if you use social media, your divorce can be negatively impacted by your online presence.
What Not to Do
Attorneys routinely turn to social media for divorce evidence, and you can be sure your spouse’s attorney is looking through any sites and accounts you have online for information. There are several key mistakes you’ll want to avoid making:
- Displaying your spending habits. During a divorce, both attorneys will be looking at ways to split assets, and you may even qualify for alimony. You may be accused of having hidden assets or a better income than you represent if you show lavish spending online. Even a simple new purchase, such as a car, can be misconstrued.
- Making aggressive comments. It can be tempting to commiserate with friends and family, but be wary of posting negative comments about your spouse. These can be used by an attorney when determining custody and visitation. Venting your feelings can cause harm to your family and be used against you. Negative comments you make can be interpreted to mean you are aggressive or have undiagnosed mental health issues which can directly impact your ability to see your children. Even joking comments can be misinterpreted, so proceed with caution.
- Providing any evidence of extramarital affairs. Even if you are both dating again, be wary about posting photos of anything that could be used to suggest you had an affair prior to the “official” end of your marriage. You don’t want such claims influencing the division of marital property.
- Deleting old posts. Some social media users assume deleting old pictures or setting all accounts to private will eliminate any negative impact on a divorce. This is not the case. Deleting old posts or pictures could be considered destruction of evidence, something that may not bode well for you in the future. If you have posts you are worried about, your best option is to speak with your divorce attorney about them to determine how to best address the potential issues going forward.
- Posting anything without speaking to an attorney. If you have any social media accounts and have filed for divorce, be sure to discuss your online habits and friends with your attorney. Your attorney may have specific advice for you based on your situation.
The Basics of Social Media and Divorce
If you have social media accounts, don’t forget about them while you are going through the process of a divorce. It is natural to want to post online to show you are doing fine or use your accounts to vent. Unfortunately, you are never the only one looking at your social media. Your divorce is already painful, and it can become more so if an attorney misrepresents innocuous pictures or if your offhand comments online cause a rift between you and family members.
Even a simple picture of you celebrating at a bar with friends can be misconstrued in court, so make sure to review your accounts and online habits with your attorney. Share any posts or images online you may be worried about with your attorney and be sure to give your lawyer any aggressive or belittling comments your former partner has made about you online. Being on your best behavior online is key to protecting yourself from the perils of social media.
If you need a divorce attorney to guide you through a divorce while protecting your rights and any children you have, contact MPL Law Firm. For more than 40 years, we have been supporting families and individuals in York, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area with personalized, attentive legal representation. We get to know you and your concerns as we represent you in your divorce.