Social media provides an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family. However, in the context of divorce, social media has significant downsides and little upside. If you want to remain active on social media during your divorce, here are some guidelines to avoid creating problems that could adversely affect your divorce.
What You Can Safely Do On Social Media During a Divorce
Many people use social media to share events and information about their lives with friends and family. Divorce is a stressful experience so it’s important to maintain social contacts and social media can be a part of doing that. So, using social media may be a good way to keep in touch. Remember that an advantage of social media is that it can provide a controlled way to interact with others. You choose who to communicate with and what to say and you can do it on your own time as opposed to an in-person or phone conversation where you may feel pressured to answer uncomfortable or upsetting questions.
Social media can also offer support from others going through the same situation. There are many private divorce-related groups on social media platforms that may be helpful.
The key point to remember is that while it is okay to use social media during divorce, you must be extremely careful about everything you say and do online. Only share information that is of a general nature, commonly known among your contacts and not derogatory towards anyone to avoid potential problems with your divorce.
Remember, Anything Posted Online Lives Forever
The most important rule in posting and interacting online is that everything lives forever. If you post something that you shouldn’t have, deleting it may not solve the problem. Someone may have already seen it and even if they didn’t take a screenshot, the damage may be done. Also, it may be possible for a deleted post to be retrieved through electronic discovery during divorce litigation.
As a result, you want to take extraordinary care regarding everything you share or say online. That includes posting photos. We’ve had divorce cases where spouses posted photos of themselves on a date or of a significant other with the divorcing spouses’ children. Even if you share photos of just you and the children it can cause problems if you are somewhere your spouse didn’t know you would be or doing something he or she would object to.
You also don’t want to share details about your divorce or make comments about your spouse or children, especially if they could be viewed as upsetting, derogatory, or hurtful. Antagonizing your spouse will only make it harder to negotiate and settle your divorce.
Also, don’t post anything that may reflect on your financial situation. For example, claiming you cannot afford to pay more in support and then posting a photo of your new BMW can be problematic. Anything relevant to your divorce is subject to discovery in litigation.
Further, using dating apps during the divorce process can be problematic because it can raise possible allegations of fault, dissipation of assets, and other concerns.
In closing, while you may want to stay active on social media for its benefits, generally, it is best to minimize your time online during the divorce because of the risks.
If you are considering divorce, contact us to discuss how we can help protect your rights and achieve a positive outcome.