How Social Media is Killing Your Divorce Case
Social media is a great way to instantly connect with family and friends. The ability to share your activities and photos with anyone at any time and to see what others are doing has helped make us more connected to loved ones than ever before. But this instant connection has made us addicted to instant gratification. We post first and think later. When you’re going through a divorce, it is more tempting than ever to receive support from loved ones and to over share certain information. Unfortunately, this can lead to huge consequences during your divorce. Your ex can use anything you post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram against you during the divorce.
According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of lawyers have seen increasing numbers of cases where social networking was used as evidence in a divorce. In 66% of these cases, Facebook was the source of incriminating evidence.
How Social Media is Used Against You
Posts can be taken out of context
Almost anything you post can paint you in a negative light when taken out of context. For example, you go to a fun girls’ night out with your friends and have a couple drinks to unwind due to the stress of your divorce. You post an innocent picture from the night out and think nothing of it. Next thing you know, your ex is showing this picture in court and trying to make you look irresponsible and claims you stay out every night drinking. Almost anything you post can be twisted into a certain narrative by your ex.
You post something that contradicts a statement
You make a statement in court or to your ex that you’re broke and struggling with money. If you then post on social media about that new couch you bought for your apartment, or how you’re going on a much needed vacation, this is going to raise eyebrows. Your ex will almost certainly use this information against you, and dishonesty can get you in a lot of trouble in a divorce case.
You post details of your divorce
Your lawyer will advise you not to discuss the particulars of your divorce. The only thing you should post on social media is that you’re getting a divorce. Don’t post why, don’t post about what a jerk your ex is, and don’t post anything that is going to be used in the divorce. Details of ongoing court cases need to be private, between you and your lawyer only. If you release certain details, this can harm the case your lawyer is building. This is because anyone reading the post can give your ex’s lawyers a heads up about what to expect.
Posts on loved ones’ social media can be used
Posts that your family and friends make to social media can also be used against you in a divorce. For example, your son graduates high school and goes to a big party to celebrate. There are alcoholic drinks at the party, and your son is tagged in a picture showing him drinking with his friends. Your ex can use this as evidence that you’re an unfit parent. Even if you punished your son for drinking at the party, the court can take the picture out of context. Your ex can argue that you allowed this type of behavior, and seek full custody.
What You Can Do to Prevent Social Media from Hurting Your Divorce Case
- Always discuss things with your divorce attorney, even social media matters. Never do anything without his or her approval. Don’t post on social media without their permission, and don’t make changes either without prior approval.
- Unfriend and block your ex on all social media. This not only prevents him from seeing your profile, but it removes the temptation to keep tabs on him. This allows you to move on and heal.
- Set your profile to private. Double check privacy settings before posting anything, and ask your family to do the same.
- Ask family and friends to unfriend your ex.
- Unfriend your ex’s family and friends.
- Don’t post. If you need to talk to loved ones, do it the old fashioned way and pick up the phone.
- When in doubt, and with your lawyer’s permission, delete all your social media profiles until the divorce is final. Never delete social media profiles without asking your lawyer first. This may be seen as destroying or hiding evidence.
Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney and Social Media
Social media keeps us connected with our loved ones. Unfortunately, social media can also keep us connected with people who may not have the best intentions. By being careful with social media, you keep distance between yourself and your ex. Don’t look at pictures, and don’t look at his profile to see what he’s doing. Allow yourself to focus on you. For more information on social media and divorce, consult a Salt Lake divorce attorney or visit schmidtgladstone.com