In our experience, most of our clients have at the minimum a Facebook account. Many of them also have an Instagram account, while some have a Facebook, an Instagram, a Snapchat, and a Twitter account (though Twitter is becoming less popular). Since social media is so deeply woven into the fabric of our society, it’s common for our clients to check their Facebook feeds several times a day. Many of them also post regularly on Facebook or Instagram, or both.
Before social media took the world by storm, it was a non-issue for divorce attorneys but in the last 10 years, all of that has changed. Nowadays, divorce lawyers and their clients pay close attention to social media posts, especially when a spouse’s social posts and comments can impact spousal support and child custody.
If you’re headed toward divorce, it’s important that you are aware that your behavior on social media can hurt your divorce. So, what should you do? Take a social media fast until your divorce is finalized? It depends.
How Social Media Impacts Divorce
Divorce is painful for most people and when people are going through it, they’re usually more vulnerable than usual. They may be bitter, angry, resentful, depressed, confused, or overwhelmed. They’re on an emotional roller coaster of feelings and they may feel like posting on social media about the divorce will help them cope.
If you post about your divorce on social media, you may think you’re reaching out to friends, but when you post on social media, hardly anything is 100% private. In reality, anything you say or do can leak back to your ex and haunt you. The reality is that social posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms can be used as evidence against you in court.
When going through a divorce, it’s only natural to seek a human connection, therefore, you may be tempted to go on social media even more than usual. However, you have to think twice before you post. Here is some advice on managing your social media posts during your divorce:
- Do not post anything that could suggest that you’re a bad parent, especially if child custody is an issue. Also, don’t put yourself in a position where someone else can take pics of you and post it on social media. For example, someone can take a pic of you partying or drinking and you’re not even aware of it. Remember, the internet is NOT PRIVATE.
- Do not post anything that suggests you have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Do not post any pics that depict you spending a lot of money.
- Do not say anything on social media, whether it’s in your feed, a story, or a comment that you would not want to share with the world.
- Never say anything bad about your ex on social media. If you make toxic posts, your ex’s attorney and the judge can assume that you’re unstable and vengeful.
- Stay away from making any posts that make you look emotionally unstable, and this includes mentioning that you’re in therapy.
Should you take a break from social media during your divorce? It depends on how you feel about your self-control. If you feel that you’re too tempted to rant and post about your life, a social media fast may be a wise idea until the divorce is final. If you feel okay about being on social media, just ask yourself this before you post, “Would I be okay with my ex’s lawyer and the judge seeing it?”