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Divorce and Social Media

Technology advancements have really taken a leap forward in the last decade or so, it is now possible using social media to share information with almost anyone in the world in the blink of an eye.  There are also various ways to keep in touch with friends and family that live far away or meet new people; this can be done by using many social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.  However, along with being able to connect with people faraway, there is also the issue of privacy.  Most of the things that go online are ever fully removed and in recent times social media has been on the rise as a leading cause of divorce. It is important to be aware of the consequences that could occur from posting a status update or a picture for couples either married or going through a divorce.

Social media can have an impact on your divorce settlement, but one of the most important things to remember is that anything you post is admissible in court, so don’t post anything you wouldn’t want the public or your spouse to see.  Pictures you post can be saved and turned it to the court at a later time, so if you are claiming disability but then post a picture of yourself having a night on the town or some other physical activity, you could find yourself losing your case.  The same works for spousal support during a divorce; if you are claiming that you are broke but the make a post about an incoming bonus/raise or post pictures of yourself out in vacation, you might find yourself in unable to explain your situation.

It can also have an impact on your custody agreement, for example, if you are the parent that has received custody but frequently make posts about leaving your child at home while you go out, making social media posts asking for diapers/clothes for your child or food, that could be seen as neglectful parenting and you might end up losing custody.  While most people should know better, the following are all to common:  Avoid posting pictures of yourself with a significant other while you are still going through the divorce, and avoid posting pictures of you in an adult setting or consuming alcoholic beverages while your child is in the background.  This also applies to family and friends, usually when a divorce happens some friends and family tend to be more loyal to one of the spouses. This means that even though you have blocked your spouse on social media, their friends and family might still be able to see your posts and pictures and pass this information along to your divorcing spouse.

Divorce can be a tough process, even simple divorces can take an emotional toll, so if it is a bad divorce it might be a bit difficult to maintain some civility when venting on social media.  However, it is important that you limit yourself on what you post. Below are a few tips to help you while going through a divorce and using social media:

  • It is important to try to be professional. It is understandable that you may intensely dislike your soon to be ex-spouse, but it is advisable to maintain a courteous outward appearance so that you may avoid any unnecessary conflicts.
  • Remember to keep it short. You should not be posting updates every hour on social media or constantly sending out long, drawn-out emails or messages. It is better to limit the amount of posts you make so that it does not appear like you are trying too hard.
  • Be mindful of the pictures you post.  Try to make sure there not anything incriminating or anything that could affect your case in a negative fashion. If you do feel like you want to post pictures, try to post pictures if you and your children, or of your hard work or something that shines a good light on you such as performing a community service task.
  • Expect the worst.  Don’t be surprised to find your social media history on display in court.  Assume everything you say and do will find its way into court and behave accordingly.

Going through divorce may necessarily cramp your “social media style” – but if you follow the suggestions above and refocus on what is most important in the process; you will no doubt have a better experience.

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