A divorce can be a painful experience for couples. During this time, tensions may be at an all-time high, as couples begin the daunting task of untangling their lives. This often includes determining child custody, spousal support, and how their assets will be divided.
While your divorce is pending, it may seem like “no big deal” to vent about our divorce to friends and family members on social media. However, social media use can have a negative impact on your divorce case. After all, the things you say on social media can be used against you during the divorce process and may make it difficult to come to a mutual agreement.
Don’t Delete Your Posts, Pages, or Profiles
Because tensions and conflicts are high during divorce, many divorcing couples believe that they should simply delete their social media accounts altogether. Lawyers, however, caution against deleting accounts or posts on social media during a divorce.
Since Facebook accounts can be discovered during litigation, deleting any posts or pages is not an option. Doing so could result in sanctions for destroying evidence. Never delete a social media account without first speaking to your divorce attorney.
Don’t Post During the Divorce Process
The better option would be to refrain from making any social media postsat all during your divorce process. This includes any post that would be disparaging of your spouse in any way or one that would call your new lifestyle into question.
Review your privacy settings and make sure that your posts are not viewable by anyone outside of your friend circle. Also, make sure that you are not able to be tagged in photos by your friends.
Blocked but Not Invisible
Instead of deleting social media accounts, many couples believe that blocking their “soon-to-be-ex” from viewing their social media pages is enough to get through the divorce process unscathed. However, this is far from the truth. While you certainly have every right to block your spouse on social media, it is important to know that they may still be able to see posts or pictures from your account.
If you are like most couples, you may have dozens of mutual social media friends and connections. When the marriage breaks up, it is likely some of these will “take sides.”
Some of these people will be more loyal to one of you, which means that even if you block your spouse from seeing your posts, one of your mutual friends may still be watching your posts and reporting the information to your spouse. In other words, never assume that just because your spouse cannot see your posts that he or she is not still fully aware of what you post.
Social Media Before, During and After a Divorce
There are a number of issues to keep in mind regarding social media posts and divorce, including:
- Social Media Tracks Locations - Many social media platforms keep track of your whereabouts when you make a post. This can make it easy for spouses to see where you are spending the majority of your time and who you are spending it with. This can be detrimental when going through the divorce and child custody process.
- Social Media Friends & Divorce -Finding Hidden Assets - Social media is now one of the primary tools used during a divorce to prove one spouse is hiding assets or dissipating marital assets. A photo of a new car, photos of an expensive trip, or even a friend’s posting of a boat which you believe belongs to your spouse can prove such suspicions, but remember that social media works both ways, so if you are claiming you “need” spousal support, do not post photos of expensive purchases.
- Admissible in Court - Remember that email and text messages are also admissible in court. A social media message to a friend regarding an impending bonus, an offer of employment or even plans for a vacation can all point to discrepancies on the Financial Affidavit, calling the credibility of the spouse into question.
Before you decide to block your spouse or remove your Facebook account, it is important that you speak to your divorce attorney. In some cases, putting your social media account on hold may be a great option for those individuals who may be tempted to post content that could be detrimental to their divorce case. The best rule of thumb is to never post anything anywhere—email, text, online—that you would not want a judge to read or that you would not say in person to the entire world.
Contact Our Barrington Divorce Attorneys
Your divorce may be the most difficult time in your life. Emotions and tensions will undoubtedly run high as you and your spouse attempt to navigate the waters of child custody, spousal support, and asset division. Being on social media during this time can make a bad situation even worse.
Before you take to social media to block your ex or complain about the divorce, talk to one of our divorce attorneys. Call Manassa Hartman, P.C. at (866) 390-0672 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate Barrington divorce lawyers. We are proud to serve clients at both our Crystal Lake and Barrington offices. Call today!