Social Media May Impact a Southern California Divorce

Divorce continues to be unfortunately common across California and in Orange County. Couples going through an Orange County divorce are now more than ever before posting updates on social media sites describing the emotionally draining process.

Facebook and Twitter accounts now allow us to post daily updates on our personal life. In the midst of a divorce, updates may provide a way to deal with the emotional roller coaster. Blogging about emotions encountered during the divorce may prove therapeutic. Heather Armstrong, the author of the "mommy blog" Dooce, may be the most public blogger to discuss her separation. Armstrong mentioned that she felt the need to disclose the break-up after being open about her life through 11 years of blogging.

Many social media users and bloggers need to understand that what they post may affect the outcome in a divorce case. Former spouses may still have access to accounts or may hire professionals to monitor what is posted. Increasingly, evidence from social media sites is used at trial and could even pose problems during divorce negotiations.

For example, an ex-husband posted images on YouTube from a party he hosted. His ex-wife used the images to reopen their custody case, because the photos showed that the couple's young child was present at the party. The photos helped the ex-wife regain custody of the child.

Following a break-up consider the following:

  • How can a photo or post be construed? Pause and think before posting.
  • Are security settings appropriate? A stronger security setting will limit who can see photos or status updates.

Deleting or completely discontinuing use of social media is unnecessary. During a divorce, however, it is important to think carefully before posting pictures, messages and status updates. Social media sites should be kept as separate as possible during the divorce process.

Source: Huffington Post, "Don't Let Social Media Sabotage Your Divorce," Bari Zell Weinberger, Apr. 24, 2012.