For many, social media offers a chronological glimpse of the ups and downs of their lives. For monumental events like birth announcements and graduation photos, social media allows us to share times of celebration. In times of emergencies or serious illness, social media use can help spread information and positive wishes for loved ones’ health and safety.
While some big life events are worth sharing on social media, others are better left unposted. The details of your divorce are a prime example.
Social media can be great as an outlet to vent about topics ranging from traffic jams to annoying neighbors. But, criticizing your ex or sharing information about your divorce can actually come back to haunt you.
How Can Social Media Use Affect My Divorce In California?
So just how big of an issue is social media in divorce cases? Recent reports show that:
- 81% of all divorce attorneys found social networking information that was later presented as evidence in court
- 66% of divorce lawyers use Facebook as one of their primary evidence sources, and
- 1/3 of divorce actions begin with affairs conducted online.
Social media activity is especially relevant as evidence of infidelity or financial misconduct.
To keep your social media accounts from damaging the outcome of your divorce, here are the top bad social media habits to avoid during your divorce:
Disparaging Your Spouse Or Ex-Spouse Online
While complaining about your ex on social media can be cathartic, it can also have disastrous results. This is especially true if the comments are false, threatening, or criticize his or her ability as a parent. During a divorce comments about your ex should be strictly avoided.
Deleting Social Media Activity That Could Be Used Against You In Court
Most people like to think that once they delete a post from social media, it disappears forever. However, not only is it almost impossible to permanently delete your social media activity from an experienced computer expert, the act of deleting incriminating posts can be held against you as destruction of evidence or inference of guilt.
Posting Photographs Or Mentioning Drugs/Alcohol Use
Evidence of drug or alcohol use can be used against you as proof of you being an unfit parent. Even casual pictures of you sharing a beer with a friend at a football game can be taken out of context, so exercise extreme caution when someone wants to snap a pic of you partaking in libations.
Discussing New Romantic Relationships
New relationships should be kept private until your divorce is final. Even if your relationship didn’t begin until after your marriage ended, this evidence can be used as proof of an affair. It’s best to keep your new love interest under wraps for the meantime.
Discussing Financial Information Or New Purchases
Excited about the newest tech gadget you just bought from Amazon or the $500 you received from selling your comic book collection online? Evidence of expensive purchases or an influx of cash may impact the calculation of child support or alimony the court will determine you can pay or receive.
Letting Your Friends Post Details About Your Life
Your friends can be a great source of comfort during a divorce. However, by criticizing your ex or posting details about your life they could actually damage your case. Although they might have the best intentions, make sure you spread the word to your closest pals.
Sharing Your Location Information
While it may be popular to check-in online at the hottest new restaurant, sharing location information can be damaging. For instance, sharing the amount of time spent at bars, strip clubs, or casinos may be used against you. This is especially true in custody disputes.
What Is The Best Way To Use Social Media During A Divorce?
The best way to use social media during a divorce is to not use it at all.
Even seemingly innocent content such as a photo of you enjoying a glass of wine, posing with a member of the opposite sex or showing off your brand-new car can have far-reaching consequences.
Most social media platforms have an option that allows users to temporarily pause their account. During a divorce, it’s best to play it safe and avoid all social media use until the divorce and related proceedings are final.