Divorce in the digital age: Social media, privacy, and legal implications

Going through a divorce can be upsetting and draining. It’s tempting to vent your feelings on your social media. However, as any divorce lawyer will tell you, you should think twice about what you say on social media if the divorce is ongoing. Some things you say on these platforms could cause problems if there are questions about child custody, child support, and property division.

Some of the key points to keep in mind about social media use during a divorce.

Stop posting on social media

You may think that what you post on Facebook or Instagram cannot possibly be used against you. But an enterprising Phoenix divorce attorney may figure out a way to use that post in court. For instance, the other side may look at the date and time you made the post and say that you couldn’t have been upset about something in the case because you were posting cheerfully at 2 am.

broken heart hanging on wire

Deleting the post doesn’t help

Imagine this scenario: You log onto your Facebook account and vent about your estranged spouse. An hour later, you realise the mistake and delete the post. Unfortunately, the damage may already be done. Someone could have forwarded the post or taken a screenshot and shared it with your spouse. Moreover, deleting a post can sometimes be seen as “spoliation of evidence,” a violation of court rules in certain jurisdictions. This underscores the importance of exercising caution and restraint when it comes to social media use during a divorce.

The post could end up in divorce court

Anything you post on your social media channels may be admissible in court. Your spouse’s legal team can use the post against you. Do not post anything on your social media that is controversial.

Also, make sure that your family and friends do not post anything about you online that makes you look bad. For example, if you are fighting for child custody, you don’t want your friends to post pictures of you intoxicated at a party. Your behaviour will be closely examined when child custody or visitation is on the line.

Don’t say anything negative about your spouse

Criticising your ex on social media can hurt more than help. Giving into temptation could negatively affect your case in many ways.

Also, your friends and family may use social media to criticise your spouse. Request that they don’t do that while the case is still ongoing. The divorce court will try to see the case from a logical point of view, not an emotional one. If anyone posts negatively about the other party, it can be harder to prove the other parent’s flaws to the court. Ensure your friends and family know that posting negatively about your ex can only hurt you in the divorce.

Check your social media footprint

Run your name through the major search engines and see if any social media posts or photos could make you look bad in front of the divorce court.

Social media can be useful for keeping in touch and sharing with others. However, it can also be harmful during a divorce. Refrain from using it if you can, and keep things private for now.

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