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If you’re like a lot of adults, you at minimum have a Facebook and an Instagram account. You may even have a Snapchat and Twitter account. Since so many divorcing spouses have social media accounts, divorce attorneys have witnessed first-hand as spouses have made big mistakes on social media, which ultimately impacted their divorce.
If you are active on social media, it’s important to learn the best practices while going through a divorce. Why? Because, if you make one of the common mistakes, it can have a negative impact on alimony (spousal support), the number of legal fees that you pay, and even child custody. Continue reading to find out what it is that you need to know about social media how it can harm a divorce proceeding.
How Social Media Can Hurt You
In the past, divorcing parties thought they could post and comment on social media, especially Facebook, without it affecting their divorce. After all, social media and divorce were all new, and most people often don’t think twice about their posts because they have freedom of speech. As it turns out, social media can have a negative impact on people’s divorce cases for more reasons than one. “How so?” you might ask.
For one, if you’re arguing that you can’t afford to pay spousal support and you post pictures of you on a lavish vacation or if you post pics of your fancy new sports car, the social media posts can be used as evidence against you in your divorce case.
Second, if you’re fighting for child custody but you keep posting pics of your drinking alcohol, smoking, or otherwise partying at bars and nightclubs, these images do not depict you well and your soon-to-be-ex can use them to bury you.
Third, an amicable divorce is usually best for all concerned. When you can have an uncontested divorce, it reduces stress and legal fees and makes your life easier. However, a friendly divorce can be ruined with just one social media post where you rant about your spouse. If word gets back to him or her or if someone screenshots your angry rant, it can enrage your spouse and before you know it, your friendly divorce can turn into a legal nightmare that drags through the courts for months if not years.
Tips for Social Media and Divorce
If you are on the road to, or in the middle of a divorce, follow these social media tips:
- Do not change your status on Facebook from “married” to “single” until your divorce is final. Doing so may only enrage your spouse.
- Do not discuss the divorce publicly on social media.
- Do not badmouth your spouse on social media.
- Do not post any pics that depict you spending a lot of money.
- Do not post any pics that depict you partying.
- If you aren’t comfortable with a judge or your spouse’s attorney seeing the post, don’t post it.
- Avoid posting pics of you dating anyone new until you’re officially single.
- If you have to ask yourself, “Is this appropriate to post?” it’s best not to post it.
- If you’re concerned that you can’t control your posts during your divorce, it may be wise to take a social media fast until your divorce is final.
- If a social media fast is too excessive, you can scroll through your feed and like and comment on others’ posts, but avoid posting yourself.
We hope you found this advice helpful. If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, we invite you to contact Malinowski Hubbard at (703) 935-4222 to set up a case evaluation.