Every divorce situation has different financial assets, different needs for children or pet custody, and different expectations for what contact each person will have with their previous spouse. However, most people in modern relationships have one thing in a common: social media accounts.
Social media allows for intensive sharing of your personal life, and for many people, sharing details and photos is second nature. However, during your divorce, your lawyer might advise you to change the way you use your social media accounts. You may even want to temporarily retire your online presence until your divorce agreements are finalized.
Some people don’t like the idea of quitting their social media accounts because they feel they need support from family and friends during this stressful and emotional time. You should, however, carefully consider how what you share could affect your divorce before using social media as an outlet.
Assets and Payment Abilities
The primary job of your attorney is to make sure you have a fair claim to marital assets from your relationship, and they also work hard to help you get as much time as possible with children born or adopted into the marriage. Sometimes, social media can make both of these jobs more challenging.
For example, you might try to reduce alimony payments or argue that you cannot pay a large amount of child support. However, if you post a photo of a new car on Instagram, this one picture shows that maybe you have more ability to pay than you let on. Even if you bought the car on credit or it was given to you as a gift, the photo still gives the appearance of undeclared wealth.
Even photos and snippets that other people share could call into question your financial claims. Pictures of vacations, new clothes, gifts, or nights out with friends that other people tag you in could reflect badly on your perceived financial situation. It’s better to make yourself a non-presence than to risk being misrepresented by your social media accounts.
If you use social media frequently, you open yourself up to questions and criticism from others. People might leave comments about your relationship with your spouse. You might be tempted to answer their questions. If you have mutual friends who take sides in your relationship, online bickering will only add fuel to the fire if your divorce is not amicable.
Remember, that even private messages and email responses can count as evidence in court, so keep communication offline if you can. Encourage concerned friends to call you or meet in person if they want to talk. Research shows that you’ll get more out of a friendship with face-to-face interaction, and you need that tangible support during a tough divorce.
Public comments that disparage your spouse or that spread untruths about them could reflect badly on you, especially if you are trying to get a good custody agreement with your children. The safer course is always to say and do nothing.
You might be the person who posts or creates the content on your page, but the more pictures you post, even if they seem innocent, the more ammunition you give to the lawyers who work for your spouse. Social media posts are free game; you don’t have to give permission in order for people to view or comment on them.
You won’t be able to fully explain the situation behind each photograph, and people can use them to create meaning that is not there. Social media is all about biased perspectives, and even if you post something without any intention of negativity, you can’t control what the court will do with your content or how it will be interpreted.
You can keep your private life quiet during a divorce and avoid social media complications during a divorce. If you have more questions about your specific situation, contact the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C.