When social media arrived on the scene, it seemed like a dream come true. Suddenly, it was easy to “connect” with friends and family from all over the world. People could share photos, comment on each other’s posts, find old friends, and reignite old flames. Little did we know back around 2009 and 2010, but social media would eventually play a critical role in breaking up marriages and steering the course of many divorces.
“Steering the course of divorces? How so?” Unfortunately, social media has impacted hundreds, if not thousands of divorces across the country, and you don’t want it affecting yours, especially if you expect to fight over child custody or spousal support. Continue reading as we explain how social media can impact the outcome of a divorce.
Divorcing? Don’t Do This on Social Media!
If you’re like a lot of our clients, you may not be active on your Twitter anymore, but you probably have at least a Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn account. You may even have a Snapchat account – it’s no longer just for teenagers. What you say and do on these accounts, particularly Facebook and Instagram can affect your divorce. Here’s how:
- If you change your Facebook status from “married” to “single,” it can enrage your soon-to-be-ex, complicating your divorce.
- If you change your profile picture from a pic of you and your spouse to a solo picture of you, that too can upset your spouse.
- If you post certain types of pictures on social media, they can upset your spouse and turn an amicable divorce into a contested divorce, which is more stressful and expensive.
- Certain social media posts can be detrimental if you’re seeking custody of your children, or if spousal support is going to be a contested issue.
Let’s begin with child custody: If you’re seeking child custody and you post any pictures of you partying, drinking, using illegal drugs, or of you in a bar or nightclub, or with a “date,” it can paint you out to be a bad parent in the judge’s eyes.
If you’re saying that you can’t afford to pay spousal support and then you post pics of your brand-new car, or your new “Mommy Makeover,” or you vacationing in the Bahamas with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, it is not going to go over well with the judge.
“What if my spouse is blocked on social media and can’t see my posts?” For one, blocking your spouse may not be wise if you’re seeking a collaborative divorce. Second, it’s nearly impossible to expect a blocked spouse not to see your posts. It’s all too easy for a mutual friend or a relative to screenshot one of your posts and send it to your spouse.
To err on the side of caution, the best advice is to take a social media fast until your divorce is final. Meaning, you can scroll and comment as long as you don’t mention your divorce, but it’s better not to post anything unless you’re 100% sure it wouldn’t upset your spouse.
Nobody likes walking on eggshells during the divorce process, but if you’re careless on social media, the risk is too high that a slipup could get back to your spouse and hurt your divorce case.