Many people turn to social media to share whatever’s going on in their lives –- good and bad. If you’re going through a divorce, however, even what you believe to be an innocent post on Facebook or Instagram can cause problems -– potentially serious ones.
Many family law attorneys advise their clients to stay off social media completely and even to delete their accounts at least until the divorce is final.
How can social media posts hurt your case?
Speaking negatively about your estranged spouse on social media -– even if what you say is true -– is only going to make them angry. It may affect the judge’s opinion of you as well. If you have children, your co-parent could make the case that you’re turning the kids against them. This isn’t going to help your chances of getting the custody rights you’re seeking.
Even posting seemingly positive things can be used against you. Maybe you had one or two much-needed nights out with friends while your spouse had the kids for the weekend. It’s easy for pictures to portray you as a hard-drinking, hard-partying parent, even if that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
If your soon-to-be-ex is on social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what they’re doing and with whom. While you might find something incriminating that could help your case, it’s likely just going to upset you and make it more difficult to get through your negotiations.
Strengthen your privacy on social media
If you’re not ready to give up social media, check your privacy settings. Make sure that only select people can see your posts. Change your passwords so that your spouse can’t access your accounts. It’s still crucial to think carefully before you post. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your spouse, their attorney or the judge to be able to see.
Some divorce agreements (and even pre-divorce agreements) include a “no social media” clause to prohibit or limit posting by both spouses. If you have one of those, it’s crucial to follow it.
If your spouse is posting things that are causing you concern -– either because they’re saying negative things about you or they’re engaging in behavior that concerns you – don’t take any action without legal guidance. The same is true if your own postings have caused problems.