It’s all too common these days for people to share every aspect of their lives on social media. This is understandable! After all, these platforms are built with social engagement and sharing in mind. However, they can be disastrous during divorce proceedings. It’s not uncommon for an unsavvy user to get into the kind of trouble during a divorce proceeding that can be costly at best, and potentially devastating at worst, up to and including loss of custody of minor children.
Social media itself has been linked to marital breakdown, with couples that do not use social media reporting happiness rates 11% higher than those who do. Additionally, Facebook has been cited in up to 20% of all divorces in the United States. The causes for these are myriad, ranging from discovery of infidelity to simple neglect of the marital relationship stemming from excessive social media usage.
Even if a divorce isn’t caused by social media use, it can still be deleterious on your proceedings. The following are helpful guidelines that you should follow regarding social media and your divorce proceedings.
Don’t use social media during your divorce proceedings.
Ideally, you should not use social media at all during your divorce proceedings. In most cases, you should assume that anything and everything you post on social media can and will be used against you during your proceedings. However, we recognize that total abstinence may not always be realistic.
Don’t post anything negative, post only positive images and thoughts.
In general, if you must post on social media during your proceedings, it’s imperative that you do not post anything that could even be construed as negative. This means no negative or offensive memes, no posts alluding to a depressed, negative, or stressed mood, no indication whatsoever of unhappiness.
Make use of your privacy settings.
All social media sites have privacy settings that allow you to control who sees what you post. During your divorce proceedings, you should not allow the public (or your ex) to see what you post.
Remove your relationship status and do not allude to a new relationship.
Do not, under any circumstances, allude to a new relationship during your divorce proceedings. This can be taken as evidence of infidelity and can lead to your spouse being granted awards of support that they may not otherwise be eligible for. You may be found at fault for the divorce.
Do not discuss your proceedings.
Do not discuss your proceedings on social media in any way. Such behavior is taken negatively by the court.
Do not post or allude to illegal activity or alcohol use.
Under no circumstances should you post or even allude to illegal activity or alcohol use on social media. This can and will be used to preclude custody or visitation of your children barring compliance with court-ordered treatment or assessment.
Monitor your children’s usage.
Finally, you should monitor your children’s use of social media platforms. Your children alluding to or posting about any of the above may be used against you.
If you are enduring a divorce, our team at Simon Law Group can help. Contact us today for a consultation.