Most people with a cellphone are constantly checking various forms of social media. Sharing pictures, activities, and thoughts can be a routine part of everyday life nowadays. However, people often use social media to vent their frustrations or to ridicule people.
In regards to divorce, social media activity can prove detrimental and create evidence which can be used against one or both parties to affect the final agreement. According to a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), over 80% of divorce attorneys have used social media posts as evidence in divorce court cases in the past six years.
What Should I Do About Social Media & My Divorce?
Most divorce lawyers advise their clients experiencing the divorce process to show patience and restraint when it comes to posting on social media. While it may be tempting to share any aspect of your divorce online, it can also be used as evidence.
For example, if a mother is experiencing a child custody dispute, but posts photos which show she was drunk when she should have been supervising the children, a judge may rule that the child will not be properly cared for by the mother. If a person creates a profile on a dating site before a divorce is finalized, not only does it show evidence of potential adultery, but the individual could be caught saying something different than what is said in court.
The following are helpful tips to handle your social media presence during divorce:
- Avoid bragging. Think before you decide to brag to your soon-to-be-ex spouse, such as posting pictures at parties or while on a date.
- Block the other party. Block your soon-to-be-ex spouse from all your social media platforms. In addition, consider blocking or limiting availability to specific family members, friends, and colleagues who are sympathetic to the other party.
- Protect your digital presence. It is possible that the other party can obtain passwords and personal information from your social media sites. It is important to change all of your passwords and take your cellphone or laptop to a spyware detection specialist if necessary.
- Stop checking in and geotagging. Avoid letting everyone know your whereabouts during divorce.
It is best to remain rather anonymous during this delicate time. It has been proven that social media evidence can not only jeopardize your court case, but also affect your child custody rights.