Navigating Social Media During a Divorce
We often look at social media platforms as a safe space to share memories or life events with others, vent our frustrations, or even seek support from friends and family. But during a divorce, anything that you post can be used in the courtroom. It's best to take a step away from social media until the finalization of your divorce. Here is some advice for navigating social media during divorce.
The Internet is Forever:
Have you ever heard the phrase "the internet is forever"? More than likely, you have been told this at least once or twice in your life. Usually, this accompanies a reference to someone's distasteful social media content. But the phrase doesn't always apply to social media. It can relate to any digital content from personal emails to text messages. Most married people share everything, including their account information, introducing an opportunity for them to hack your accounts and steal information. Once there is a digital copy of your private messages or digital media, it may never go away and potentially find its way into your divorce case. You must change your passwords to secure your accounts and take the time to review all privacy settings. Even after your accounts are secure, do not email, text, or post anything you would not be comfortable hearing in a courtroom.
Actively Manage Your Content:
What you post on social media paints a picture of your character and habits. One photo or post could substantially alter the outcome of your divorce or even your child custody proceeding. Do not share images of you on dates, shopping, drinking, or partying. For example, social media content showing you spending a lot of money could hurt your alimony case.
Most importantly, do not openly discuss your divorce on social media. It is a recipe for disaster. Posting about your divorce or ex opens the door for speculation and comments from friends and family. Any content can be misunderstood and lead to a confrontation with your spouse. If your spouse tries engaging you on social media, do not respond. Document the messages and consult your lawyer for advice before proceeding. During your divorce, you should also be mindful of the content that you like and get tagged in on social media. Ask your friends and family to refrain from tagging you in inappropriate images or content.
Consult Your Attorney:
Your attorney will be your greatest asset during your divorce. If you haven't already, you should ask your lawyer about social media's dangers during divorce proceedings. More than likely, they have experienced its effect on a case firsthand. You should notify them of any social content that could be damaging to your case. If you are unsure about the content you have shared in the past, it might be in your best interest to have your attorney review your accounts.
If you are proactive in managing your social media accounts, you can make your life and your attorney's job much more manageable. In the end, your attorney will always have your back. They will work hard to protect your interests during and after your divorce.