Social Media is an ever growing force with 74% of adult internet users currently active users. It may seem trivial but social media can play a large part in your divorce.
All Electronic Communications are Admissible in Court
Anything you say, do, and write down can be used against you in court. This includes all social media posts, direct messages, emails, and text messages. The fact that these things are in writing and are time stamped make them impossible to dispute. This is not to say though, that you should go snooping through your Ex’s emails and text messages to find incriminating information. Invasions of privacy can result in legal repercussions and make the information inadmissible. It is still best to not put any incriminating information in writing though as even if your Ex legally can’t legally access your emails, the person you're emailing could share your correspondence with your Ex. When using social media, and other forms of electronic communication, only say things you would be fine with saying directly to your judge and/or Ex. It is also a good idea to change your passwords just in case your Ex is tempted to snoop. To stay on top of everything you need to do during a divorce, including your social media status' check out Thistoo's free Task Smartlist.
Posting About Things You Have and Do Can Incriminate You
It is always best to be completely transparent about your financial situation during a divorce. As many people have found out, it is difficult to hide your earnings in today’s digital world. Texan divorce attorney Ben Carrasco once used a LinkedIn profile to show that his client’s Ex had a secondary business that they had not disclosed. This information helped his client secure more child support than she would have otherwise received. If you're curious about what your spousal and child support will be try Thistoo's support calculator.
It does not even need to be as obvious as a hidden business to cause suspicion; posting vacation photos or expensive purchases and call your income into question. You don’t need to worry solely about your own social media either, but also that of your friends and family. If your friend tags you in a picture or your kid makes a post about the new expensive gift you got them your Ex can easily see that your income is not what you claim it is. Andrew Beckett a managing director of Cyber Security and Investigations used this to his benefit when investigating his client’s husband. In a GQ article he said “we monitored social media, particularly for his children, who were in their 20s, and found a lot of posts from the same geo-tagged sites, cross-referencing that with land registry and other similar bodies overseas, we found half a dozen properties that were registered in the name of this person. We were able to go to the court with a list of assets that we conservatively estimated at $60m, which the court then seized until he settled the amount that had been ordered.” Social media can also become an issue with the image it presents of you. You can never get the whole picture from social media as it only shows snippets and highlights that can often be misconstrued. For example, if all of your pictures consist of wild nights out your Ex could spin the situation to make you seem like an unfit mother even if you only go out when your Ex has your children. Another issue people run into is with online dating sites. Even if you have been separated for several months, you and your Ex are still married. The existence of online dating profiles could lead to speculations of cheating which could change the course of your divorce. With people constantly documenting their lives it is clearly difficult to keep anything under wraps. We recommend firstly being transparent about your financial situation but also refraining from social media use during your divorce. You may not be able to control what other people post but you can at least shut down potential problems by controlling your own involvement.
Blocking Your Ex Won’t Protect You
You may think you can avoid any of these problems by simply blocking your Ex from your social media. However, as previously mentioned that doesn’t stop your mutual friends/followers from tagging you, posting about what you’re doing, or liking and sharing your posts. Your friends and followers can also report back to your Ex about what you’re posting or discussing and can take pictures. In saying this though it is important that you do not delete your posts or your account. Doing so could be considered destruction of evidence and further incriminate you. The best practice is to refrain from social media use and be honest about what you have. Once your divorce is finalized it is okay to unfriend/unfollow your Ex or to mute their posts. This can be an important step in healing and moving on but should not be done out of spite or in hopes of sparking a reaction. If you haven't yet finalized your divorce head to Thistoo.co to start the application process.
Badmouthing Your Ex Does More Harm Than Good
When you’re feeling hurt and angry it’s easy to fire off a post and vent to your friends about how terrible your Ex is. The initial support feels good and you may even be hoping that it gets back to your Ex. In the moment you’ll feel satisfaction and support, but in the long run badmouthing your Ex does more harm than good. First of all, you are putting friends and families in an awkward position where they feel they have to take sides. You can lose some good friends this way and burn bridges for both you and your Ex which you may come to regret. As well, things are bad and hurt right now, but if you and your Ex hope to maintain a level of civility in the future this is not helping. If you have children together this is even more important as you both will always be in your children’s lives and will need to remain at the very least civil. With children in the mix you also need to understand that your Ex is still your child’s parent and they don’t see them the way you do. Your children may one day (or today) see the awful things that you publicized about their other parent. This won’t be good for either of your relationships with your children. With the prevalence of social media in today’s society most employers will also look at a person’s social media profiles as a part of the hiring process. You don’t want your future employers and co-workers, or even your current employers and co-workers, seeing your personal marital problems and petty comments. The best rule to keep in mind is do not post anything that you would not be okay with everyone in your life, past present and future, seeing. While in the process of getting a divorce it is best to stay off of social media altogether. No matter what stage of the divorce process you're at, Thistoo has tools to help you. Check out Thistoo.co today to see how we can help you.
Social media can be a powerful tool with many benefits but also many risks. At all times, but especially during your divorce, you should approach social media with a "am I okay with everyone in my life knowing I said this" mentality.
For help finalizing your divorce head to thistoo.co