Social media is so universal that you might question whether something really happened if someone did not post an online photo or status update. Hyper-connectivity can bring your world closer together, but it can also reveal too much intimate detail to too many people. When you are going through a divorce, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be weaponized if you overshare.
Privacy settings are not bulletproof and just because you deleted something online does not mean an intrepid investigator cannot dig it up. A vast majority of divorce attorneys use evidence from social networks to help build their cases. You do not want to gift wrap potentially damaging information your ex-spouse can find with only a few clicks.
Discretion is the better part of posting
When in doubt, be discreet. Imagine the judge in your case seeing or reading everything you post. Sharing certain activities can come back to haunt you when dissolving a marriage:
- Photos/videos. Images of excessive partying or risky behavior can reveal infidelity or raise questions about your character
- Rants. Trashing your ex over his grooming habits or sexual prowess might feel cathartic but is unlikely to earn you credibility with the court
- Finances. Bragging about a vacation or new vehicle while pleading insolvency and demanding spousal support can undercut your claims
- Children. Even if your kids are not on social media yet, remember that information can live online forever. And what you post can affect custody and child support decisions.
It might seem archaic but limiting your communication to telephone calls and avoiding social media altogether might be wise until the divorce is final. However, once litigation has started, be careful about deleting your accounts. You could be at risk of destroying evidence.
Everything is fair game
Divorce is an emotional and complex decision with serious ramifications. So much is about reconciling your past and planning your future. It is tempting to share your journey with a curated audience but remember everything posted on social media is fair game.
To achieve a favorable result in court a lawyer might use social media evidence to bolster your case or defend against it. Do not let oversharing overwhelm your ability to start a new life.