The Impact of Social Media
With the advent of Facebook and other social media sites, spouses no longer need to hire private detectives to gather dirt on their partners—it’s often right there on their personal-device screens. Many people use social media outlets to document who they’re seeing romantically, where they’re living, and what they’re up to in general. And no matter how private your settings may be, if you’re posting on social media, your privacy is—at best—limited. If you post with indiscretion, those posts have the potential to negatively affect settlement issues, including:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Property distribution
In other words, the wrong post can negatively affect your divorce settlement in critical ways.
Unpredictable Results from Social Media Posts
You may not think twice about a certain social media post until it causes unpredictable problems later. Furthermore, your photo entries can provide visual clues that you might not even be aware of. For example, photos of you on a luxury vacation or on a shopping spree can cast doubt on your need for spousal support if you’ve requested it.
Your social media presence—in all its fits and starts—can provide the court with a virtual snapshot of who you are as a parent, a spouse, an employee, and as a person. You want this snapshot to be consistent with the hardworking and sensible person you hope to show the court. Even if you’ve deleted any potentially iffy posts, someone’s sure to have memorialized them—and they can materialize in your case. Make it your habit to post thoughtfully and not to post in the heat of the moment—divorce is full of such moments.
You don’t have to go dark on all your accounts, but if you’re going through a divorce, you should think carefully before you press Send. Courts are disinclined to believe that the persona you project so succinctly online is vastly different from the person who stands before them. If your spouse also has a presence on social media, carefully watch the action on those accounts, if possible, as it might prove useful in court.