Avoiding dangerous social media mistakes during your divorce

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton |

Getting divorced is stressful, and it can leave you in need of significant social and emotional support. Many people tend to lean on their circle of friends and acquaintances to process and move on from the emotional difficulties of ending a marriage. While that has long been the practice of many divorcing adults, these days that support network looks a lot different than it used to.

Specifically, many people use social networks online as a means of connecting and communicating with their friends and families. Unlike in-person conversations, social media conversations create a permanent digital record of your feelings and discussions. While that means you can read words of support whenever you need them, it also means that your emotions and frustrations could end up used against you in your divorce.

Social media is a major source of evidence in modern divorces

Far too many people tend to overshare online. From snapping pictures of their most recent meals to venting about the worst parts of their days, social media provide both an outlet and a platform for your best experiences and worst behavior. Oversharing about how much you love your dog won’t do much more than annoy your friends. Sharing too much about your divorce or your personal life during a divorce, however, could become a major issue.

Anything that you share on social media could end up used against you during the divorce. If your ex gets a copy of a rant where you call him or her names or photographic evidence of your affair in the form of selfies, that could impact how the courts approach your divorce.

Avoid trashing your former spouse online

You may feel like you need to get something off your chest. It’s common to feel like your ex wronged you, and it’s natural to want people you know to comfort you or take your side in the divorce. However, sharing a rant or an angry post about every terrible thing your spouse ever did won’t really help you feel better. Instead, it could provide some momentary relief at the expense of potentially complicating your divorce.

Such a post, whether it’s on Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter, could end up as evidence in the courts. Claims of defamation could follow. Even allegations of potential parental alienation could have roots in an angry online post. Worse, there’s the potential that your children could see it. Even if you have your settings changed to only display things to friends, people can screenshot your post and send it to your former spouse. It’s best to err on the side of caution. Keep the angry conversations for in-person discussions with people you really trust.

Don’t implicate yourself on Facebook

You may feel the urge to humbly brag about how great your life is now that you’re separated from your ex. Sharing pictures with your new partner or bragging about items you’ve purchased could come back to haunt you. Until the courts finalize your divorce, any dating you do is technically a breach of your marriage. Posts with your attractive date could fuel allegations of infidelity in your marriage.

Similarly, expensive meals or gifts to yourself could end up used as evidence of dissipation of marital assets. Save the bragging and excitement for after your divorce, when those awesome experiences won’t potentially impact the outcome.

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