We get it. Anger, resentment and what seems a waste of your time can lead to social media rants. But even private DMs can land you in hot water.
When you’re going through a divorce, it can be tempting to use social media as an outlet to redefine who you are without your spouse in the picture. But while social media can be a valuable tool during this difficult time, it can also cause major problems if you’re not careful.
Recent studies show that social media is one of the leading causes of marriage breakdowns. It’s been shown that social media causes many marriages to break down because it causes trust issues between spouses and can be used against you during a divorce.
Here are five things you should know when using social media during a divorce.
Social Media Posts Can Be Used Against You
Divorce is a stressful and emotional time. Many people turn to social media to vent their frustrations, but this can have serious consequences. Posts on social media during a divorce can become evidence against you in your case.
There are two big rules to follow when it comes to social media. Don’t post about a new relationship on social media during a divorce. Posting about a new relationship can negatively affect your case because it could be deemed as adultery—a fault ground for divorce in many states. It’s always in best practice to wait until the divorce is final to begin new relationships.
Secondly, don’t post your location. Many social media platforms track your location when you post. To avoid this, you can easily evoke location-tracking permissions from these sites. This will stop these sites from recording your location when you make a post.
Check Your Privacy Settings
You should make all of your social media accounts private during a divorce. This is to prevent unwanted attention from other people. Locking accounts prevents people who don’t follow your account from viewing your posts. Changing your passwords for all of your accounts is also a good idea.
Have you ever shared a computer with your spouse? If so, you should change your password for all accounts, including email addresses that both of you use. It’s a good practice to use new passwords for every site you visit so that other people won’t be able to access them if they get their hands on them.
Be Mindful of Deleting Posts
It’s a common instinct to want to clean up your social media accounts when you’re going through a divorce. It’s common to not want painful reminders of happier days, or you don’t want your spouse to find any private messages or DMs between you and someone else.
But deleting posts from your Facebook or Twitter may not be as effective as you might think.
If your spouse requests the entire social media history from you during the discovery process, you must provide it. Deleting posts doesn’t necessarily delete them from Facebook or Twitter’s servers—they can still be retrieved by experts, who will charge fees for their time and efforts.
Deleting evidence may affect your reputation with your judge. Deleting or destroying evidence can be used against you in court.
Go Through Your Friends List
You and your spouse probably had mutual friends, and if you accepted friend requests from them, those friends may be reporting back to your spouse.
Spend some time going through your lists of friends and followers to unfriend or block accounts of people you believe might be sending information back to your spouse. Divorce litigation isn’t a time to worry about what your spouses’ friends will think of you—it’s about self-preservation and putting yourself first!
Just be sure not to direct them to interact with your spouse or harass them in any way—that will end poorly for everybody.
Think Before You Post
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to think twice before you post anything on social media. It’s especially important to be careful not to post anything that would look like bad-mouthing the other parent. Your spouse can then take that post and use it in court against you.
Judges might not like it when parties call their decisions unfair – even if you think they are. If you choose to trash a judge in your case on social media, you may find yourself in contempt of court. If you can’t use social media to highlight the positives in your life, like being a good parent, maybe take a break from posting. Creating new posts won’t be subject to misinterpretation and can really help your case in the long run.
At Masters Law Group, our skilled attorneys understand that divorce is a stressful situation. Many of our clients are ready to move on with their lives, and as such, we move through mediation and litigation with our clients’ well being in mind. Are you facing a family law issue? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.