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Social Media Considerations During a Divorce

Because going through the divorce process is a challenging and stressful experience, most people feel the need to seek support from their friends by sharing and discussing their feelings and frustrations. While doing so with a few friends over coffee or beer is fine, the danger is in sharing emotions with hundreds of friends and acquaintances on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, as it can lead to unforeseen consequences.

Here is a list of a few mistakes you can avoid making and how they can have legal repercussions in your divorce proceedings:

1) Try to keep the split quiet for a while, or decide to announce it together to keep the atmosphere amicable. In addition, avoid negative comments about your ex, especially if you share mutual friends on social media platforms. You don’t want your friends to feel pressured to take sides. If you can keep the split amicable, avoid blocking your ex on social media, especially if there are children involved as you still may want to share some posts, while keeping others private.

2) Keep your social media posts positive or neutral. Avoid sharing personal details and doing your dirty laundry online. Not only does this put a drain on your personal relationships, but your current or prospective employer may also have access to those posts one day.

3) If you are friends with your ex on social media, avoid posting pictures about your new single life, including going on dates or having fun without your former partner. While your ex may feel animosity towards you when viewing this type of posts, you will only delay the healing process on both sides. It is best to keep private matters private until the divorce is final. Spying on your ex on social media can also delay healing. It is best to focus on yourself and activities that bring you peace and joy.

4) The most important mistake of all is to post any information that may be used against you in a court of law. Anything you say in writing could affect many aspects of the divorce process, including the separation of assets and debts, spousal support, child support, child custody, etc. This includes emails, text messages, and anything you post on social media, even as a private post. If you block your ex but share mutual friends, those friends could forward those posts to your ex. For example, imagine stating that you have a low income job on your financial forms to avoid paying spousal and child support but bragging about getting a new job or a bonus, or taking expensive vacations on social media. Lying on your financial statements is a crime. Therefore, any electronic proof that you lied about your income is admissible in court, and a judge can even subpoena you if you refuse to share those posts.

5) Avoid at all costs deleting online accounts after posting negative or compromising information as this constitutes destruction of evidence and could have legal consequences. Remember that people can always take a screen shot of your posts before you delete them. The best way to stay out of trouble is to avoid posting anything online that you don’t want to tell the whole world and become permanent. Keep a low social media profile, be cautious and discreet until the divorce is final, and remain amicable with your ex as much as possible. Keep in mind that if your children aren’t on social media yet, one day they will be. Think about what you want them to see when reading about this difficult time in your life.

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