As social media has grown to become one of the primary vehicles for self-expression and communication in our present day society, many people going through a divorce want to know a divorce lawyer’s advice on how Facebook and other social media activity can impact divorce settlement negotiations. The truth is that what you share on social media can play a role in what happens during your divorce. It is important to understand the ramifications to protect yourself.
Divorce attorneys see a rising number of marriages breaking up due to social networks and online forums; however, the impact can go far beyond the dissolution of the marriage. Many going through divorce have no idea what the consequences can be of seemingly harmless posts and social media activity. Social media has become such a natural part of our daily lives that many people run the risk of oversharing. While it can be fun and entertaining to share day to day updates and photos of events, parties and activities you are doing, unfortunately, your former spouse may be able to find information that can negatively impact you in your settlement.
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat or any other networking forum or smartphone app, it is important to be even more mindful than ever before of photos or information that could put you in an unfavorable light. Even if you have blocked or “unfriended” your former spouse from your profile, he may have contacts who can still view what you share, and those people can report back to him.
Not every connection in social media is an ally or friendly contact who has your best interests in mind. Furthermore, certain posts or messages you think are private may not be private at all. Now is the time to be cautious on social media. Ask any friends who might share information or pictures of you to stop, or ask your permission before they share. You cannot be too careful when it comes to something as important and life-impacting as your divorce settlement negotiations.
We want to help you create some firm and healthy boundaries for social media use during this time. Consider the following ways your activity on these public forums can affect your divorce proceedings:
Posts, photos and comments can provide clues or information regarding hidden assets or relationships.
Married couples typically have many mutual connections and social media contacts. A mutual friend may give your former spouse plenty of information about what you are doing and with whom. Whether you are taking big trips pointing to the idea that you may have more money that you are using or there is a picture of you hugging a friend of the opposite sex at a party, it all can play a role and influence the judge’s perception of you.
Text messages, online posts and e-mails can be evidence in court.
Most family law attorneys advise clients not to put anything in writing online, in an e-mail or even in text messages that they wouldn’t want the judge to read. Anything can be considered admissible evidence. Even routine forms of communication can be subpoenaed.
While you can use this to your own advantage, beware so that this information isn’t used against you.
Update settings on all social media profiles to be as private as possible. Unfriend or block anyone who you suspect might report something to your spouse. Above all, just don’t share anything that do not want your spouse or a judge to know about you.
If you want to learn more about how social media and online content can be used in a divorce, or simply want a divorce attorney’s advice and assistance, call (770) 475-2521 for a free consultation with Reeder Law Firm today.