Social media is an important aspect in how you interact with others in today's culture. It is almost second nature to post anything that happens in your life on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. What you may not realize is that what you put out there for your friends to see can be used as admissible evidence in court. It pays to be careful about how you use social media during any legal proceeding, especially divorce.
Here are some things to remember about using social media during your divorce:
- Do not announce your divorce too quickly. If possible, talk to your spouse about how you want to approach the announcement on social media. At the very least, make sure your immediate circle knows about the separation before you put anything online.
- Do not brag about your new single life. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that Facebook posts are being used to present evidence in family court for divorces.
- Do not use social media to bash your ex. Remember that your support system and your children might read what you post.
- Do not spy on your ex. If you have the password, do not use it. It could lead to legal charges against you. Accessing password-protected information without permission is not appropriate.
- Do not overshare information. Keep the drama off your social media page.
- Do not be passive-aggressive with posts. An example would be "I am so much better off," or checking into places with a new date.
These tips are more than just social niceties. Spying on your ex just prolongs the amount of time it takes to get over the breakup. If you overshare information, a hiring manager a year from now might read the drama that occurred and wonder if you are mature enough to handle the job.
You may also need to disable the tag features for social media. Ask friends not to check you into places or tag you in photos, as this lets your ex create a timeline of where you are. This is especially important when the divorce is contentious.
If you do not want a judge to read a post, do not write it
You can get information about your ex on social media, but remember that your ex can get information about you, too; it goes both ways. You should consider changing passwords and updating privacy settings, but even then, nothing you put on social media is truly private. Always discuss your concerns about social media with your attorney.