The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers published a study stating that lawyers submit Facebook posts and other social media information as evidence in 81 percent of divorce cases. This study came out in 2010; it would bring no surprise if that percentage is now higher.
So what do you do about social media if you are facing divorce? Is it something you even need to worry about? The answer is most likely “yes,” and here are reasons why.
3 Ways Your Social Media Posts Will Be Used Against You
Your spouse’s lawyer will use your posts against you when given the chance. Specifically, that lawyer will attempt to:
- Discredit you. One post by you about a recent change in your life, such as a change at work, could be used to discredit your statements about your personal finances. One picture of you out drinking with your besties can quickly turn into that lawyer painting you as someone who cannot make good decisions, thereby putting into question whether you truly have the best interests of your children in mind.
- Log your full life for the court (and world) to read about. A divorce proceeding is public. All records related to your divorce are public. Even if you choose to share your posts with a certain audience, your friend lists, status updates, location check-ins and so much more will all become public knowledge.
- Track your friends’ accounts to learn more about you. Your spouse can also look to common friends on Facebook to see if they have information about you that may help them with their case. Not only does this potentially hurt you, but it drags your friends and family members into your divorce battle.
Facebook (and Other Social Media Sites) and Divorce Don’t Mix. Follow These Steps to Keep Them Separate.
The long and short of this is quite simple: Avoid Facebook during divorce. Do not tweet. Stop uploading pictures to Instagram. In fact, take a full social media hiatus. Here are a few tips to help you ease yourself away from social media for the time being:
- If you feel you must say something before you go quiet, write a final post telling your friends, family and other followers that you are taking a hiatus for personal reasons and that you will be back online when the time is right.
- Ask your friends and family members to not talk about you in their posts or put pictures up that include you while your divorce is pending.
- Refrain from the urge to purge. Do not go back through your accounts now and delete posts or pictures that you believe are potentially “unsavory.” It is possible to recover deleted items from social media accounts.
Get a Lawyer’s Help
If you have concerns about how social networking may affect your divorce, call on an experienced divorce lawyer who can answer your questions and help you through the process. You will find such a lawyer at our Elk River, MN, law firm.