It’s no secret that social media plays a role in nearly every aspect of today’s society, but it may come as a surprise that what you post on social media could impact the outcome of your divorce. Because of this, it’s important to understand how to use your social media to your advantage and ways to prevent your accounts from hurting your case.
During a divorce, especially in a contested divorce, your personal affairs will be under scrutiny. While platforms like Twitter and Facebook may seem like an ideal outlet for your frustrations during such a trying time, actively using social media while your divorce is pending can backfire. Anything you post online could be used against you in court, especially if it can be construed as incriminating in any way. Videos and photos in particular are often used as evidence in court, so the last thing you need is to have evidence that gives your spouse an edge in the proceedings.
This doesn’t mean you should scrub your accounts, however, no matter how tempting it may be. Even if something puts you in a bad light, deleting it from your account doesn’t necessarily erase it from existence. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook retain data in their servers, regardless of if it’s been deleted. There’s also always a chance that your spouse will have taken screenshots of any posts, images or videos before you get around to taking them down. If they or their divorce attorney find that you’ve tried to hide vital evidence, it could be held against you. Not only that but the destruction of evidence in a court case is illegal and could hurt both your reputation and the outcome of the divorce.
Common things on social media that could hurt your case include:
- Any updates or images that could indicate infidelity during the marriage.
- Mention of big-ticket purchases that may call your financial situation and assets into question (and thus negatively impact the distribution of assets).
- Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.) or gambling.
- Disparaging comments or posts about your spouse.
If there’s a chance it could discredit your character or reputation, it shouldn’t be posted online or it may be taken out of context.
Fortunately, there are several ways social media can be used to help your attorney win your case. For example, if your social media presence indicates you’re a responsible, committed parent during a custody battle, your attorney may be able to use this to give you a slight edge in the case. If you’re still on social media, you may also find something your spouse has posted that could hurt their case. This is something your Montgomery divorce attorney may be able to use to your advantage to win the case.
- Set your accounts to private or lock them so only your followers, friends or other connections can view your posts. Unfriend anyone you don’t trust or who may be reporting back to your spouse.
- Have a conversation with anyone who may post about the divorce, including close friends, family members or children.
- Refrain from interacting directly with your spouse or anyone else connected to the divorce online such as mutual friends. If possible, avoid using social media at all until the case is resolved.
- Change all social media passwords, especially if your spouse had access to your accounts or you’re logged into them on a shared computer.
- If the idea of posting online is just too tempting, temporarily deactivate your accounts until the marriage is dissolved. Check each platform’s policy before deactivating your accounts to make sure they don’t automatically delete the accounts instead.
- Avoid social media as much as possible to limit the risk of posting something that could hurt your case.
Ultimately, the way you portray yourself on social media matters. When in doubt, consult your divorce attorney as they can advise you on how to best manage your accounts throughout the process.