For many people, social media has become an extension of themselves. You use it to check up on friends and family, let people know how you are, and express your feelings. While this may be useful throughout the year, it can be damaging during a divorce process.
Here at John R. Foley, P.C., our family lawyers have seen how social media can be used in divorce cases (including making your divorce more difficult). If you are going through the divorce process, then our family lawyers recommend deactivating your social media accounts or, at the very least, limiting your activity and being conscientious of what you post. If you need legal services for family law, including divorce, custody, child support, and more, then our law firm can help. Our family lawyers serve clients throughout Dearborn, so contact John R. Foley, P.C. today to schedule a meeting.
Social Media Can Anger Your Ex
Expressing your feelings on social media may be second nature at this point, but doing so during a divorce could have negative implications. With the visibility of social media, you could easily anger your soon-to-be-ex if you make negative posts about them online. While this may be how you feel, try to limit venting to in-person conversations; if you anger them greatly, they could retaliate in court. Retaliation could look like fighting for increased custody over your children, less money in spousal support, or more arguments over asset and property division. The divorce process is already complicated and stressful enough, so make it as easy as possible for you and your family lawyer by not adding fuel to the fire with social media.
Social Media Can Provide Evidence
Many family lawyers will use social media as evidence during divorce proceedings — including your ex’s family lawyers. Social media evidence can be used to show the following information (and potentially more):
- Documented communication – messages, posts, etc.
- Evidence of time and place – check-ins and posts can show activities and locations on certain dates at specific times
- Evidence of actions – posts or photos showing specific actions
- Evidence of who a person spends time with – photos or posts tagged with others
- A person’s state of mind – comments or posts expressing feelings
- Proof of spending or income – posts about vacations, activities, and purchases
Let’s look at a few examples of this:
- You divorce and have been ordered to pay child support and/or alimony. You make a full financial disclosure to the divorce court and claim you don’t have very much disposable income each month after paying bills. Your social media posts from the last three months, however, show you eating at expensive restaurants or taking trips with friends. Your ex’s family lawyer may be able to paint a different picture of your expenses with this social media story.
- After working out child support with your family lawyer, your ex, and the court, you begin the process of determining child custody. You have not mentioned dating anyone because you know it could negatively influence the court’s decision or your ex’s feelings on the matter. However, even though you blocked your divorcing spouse on social media, a friend of theirs sees photos of you and your significant other on social media and shares it with them. Now, your soon-to-be-ex is hurt and angry and makes the child custody arrangements even more difficult than they need to be.
Consider Deactivating Your Social Media Accounts
If you do not want your social media accounts to hurt your divorce case in any way, then the best option is to completely deactivate them. Many people think they are fine to simply block their spouse on social media, but this often isn’t enough. Like in the example above, a friend of theirs could see it and the evidence could still be used.
If you decide not to deactivate your social media accounts, then at least do the following recommendations from our family lawyers:
Be Mindful of What You Post
Avoid going on rants about your spouse or making disparaging comments about them online. This doesn’t do any good and could negatively influence custody issues, especially if it is a contested divorce.
You also should not post anything that could give away finances, love interests, state of mind, etc., as mentioned above.
Update Privacy Settings
At the very least, check and update your privacy settings on all social media if you do not plan to deactivate your accounts. One thoughtless post on social media, that your ex can somehow see, can greatly change your divorce and custody case and make matters more difficult for you and your family lawyer. You should know who can view your posts and online activity and know if the information could somehow get back to your divorcing spouse.
Meet With a Family Lawyer in Dearborn Today
The divorce process can be long and emotional, but the family lawyers at John R. Foley, P.C. can help. Custody, child support, alimony, property and asset division, and more are all vital aspects of a divorce that require careful, nuanced attention, expertise, and experience. The family lawyers at John R. Foley, P.C. in Dearborn have all that and more. Whether you have questions about social media and divorce or you are just beginning the search for legal services, we are confident we are the law firm for you. Contact us today to meet with a family lawyer regarding your upcoming divorce.