Divorce and Social Media
If you are considering divorce, or if you are in the process of a divorce, know that your social media accounts will be under serious scrutiny by opposing legal counsel. Anything you post on social media can be used against you and damage your ability to receive financial support or even affect child custody arrangements. Being aware of how social media can directly impact your divorce is an important consideration when considering a divorce.Social Media Guidelines
The very best course of action is to stay off all of your social media accounts the moment that you begin divorce proceedings. This will ensure that you never post anything that can be used against you. Additionally, you can let your friends and family know that you do not wish to have any photographs or posts written either about you or include you in any way.
However, in many cases, given the fact that our society is addicted to social media, this may be an unrealistic expectation. Therefore, at a bare minimum, you should follow these social media guidelines.
- Change Your Privacy Settings. Make sure that all of your privacy settings are protecting your information. If you are confused as to how to set all of your social media platforms to private, request assistance. Additionally, it is important to note that even if your settings are all listed to private, you are not completely insulated from others finding out postings on your social media accounts. Any person who still has access to your social media accounts (friends, family, etc.) will be able to share your post, or screenshot your post and repost it or use it as evidence later against you in a divorce proceeding. Additionally, in many cases, a spouse may attempt to gain access to the “private” information of a spouse by duplicating a profile of a close friend and requesting access as that friend or simply by logging into their mutual friend’s social media profile. Many married couples have mutual friends, and therefore friends may simply give information to a spouse about a soon-to-be ex. In other cases, friendship loyalties switch and the information you gave to a friend may now be used against you by your spouse.
- Be Cautious When You Post. If you insist on keeping your social media platforms, be careful regarding the types of information or photographs that you post. Oftentimes, all of this information is discoverable during the divorce. Make sure to carefully censor your posts, especially any that relate to vacations, finances, or any embarrassing comments or photographs from friends that could be interpreted in a negative light. Limit your time on social media to minimize the amount of information that may be used against you in your divorce.
- Never Use Social Media as a Support System. Social media should not be used as a support system. Take time to visit personally with your family, friends, or a counselor. Anything you post on social media can be used against you in a divorce, even if you believe you are only sharing it with trustworthy people. Additionally, no spouse should ever use social media as a platform to discuss the legal proceedings or the divorce they are going through. These comments can get back to the judge and will not be looked upon favorably. The court is a formal and serious legal institution, and a judge will likely not look positively on any disparaging comments made about your divorce case or the legal process.
- Never Delete Anything. If you post something on social media that you later regret, you should never delete the information or the photograph. The court may consider anything that you delete as your attempt to destroy evidence that would be admissible by the court in your divorce case. Remember, everything you post on social media may be discoverable under the law. Therefore, the best policy is not to post anything. However, if you end up posting something embarrassing or regrettable, you should never take steps to remove it, or cover it up, or you may find yourself in even more serious legal trouble.
If you are considering a divorce in the greater Charlotte region of North Carolina, you may be curious about how your social media and the use of social media sites may affect your case. We can ensure that all of your legal rights are protected. Contact an experienced divorce attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online today to schedule your consultation.