Social media is a way to connect with loved ones and express yourself, but it can pose serious problems when you’re going through a divorce. Our family law attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad advise clients to avoid social media during separation, divorce, and child custody proceedings. These are just a few important reasons why.
Social Media Is A Public Forum
Many people think that because they have their social media accounts set to private, strangers or people they’ve blocked can’t see what they’re posting. This is simply not true — when you post something online, you may as well consider it permanently out there for everyone to see. Your spouse or their attorney may be scouring the internet to find things that can be used against you in a divorce. When a couple splits up, some family and friends choose sides, and you never know if or when someone will share something with your ex that you consider to be private.
In addition, you don’t want to be accused of lying or harassing your spouse on social media, which is entirely possible if someone reports you, even if it isn’t true. It’s best to just disable your accounts and give social media a rest until your divorce is finalized. Always keep in mind that a judge can issue a subpoena to obtain access to your social media accounts, which means the court and your ex’s attorney can review them.
Photos Can Be Misinterpreted
If you find it difficult to break the Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter habit, be extremely cautious about the photos you post. A picture of you enjoying a “girls’ night out” or relaxing on the sofa with a cocktail may seem perfectly innocent, but it could end up damaging your credibility in court. Any images you post may be used as evidence against you when it comes to matters surrounding property division, alimony, child support, custody, or any other aspect of your divorce. Avoid sharing images of you consuming alcohol or drugs, and refrain from posting photos with a significant other if you’re dating. Even if nothing untoward is happening, your spouse or their divorce attorney can make it appear like there is or may accuse you of being unfaithful during the marriage.
It’s Not Good For Your Children
Divorce can put a heavy emotional burden on a family, especially when children are involved. If your divorce is contentious, it can be tempting to vent your frustrations on social media, but attacking your ex in this public forum is not in the best interest of your children. In fact, it can be emotionally damaging to them. Even young children who don’t have social media accounts may be shown negative posts by relatives or family friends. Instead of posting your feelings on social media, talk with a therapist, trusted friend, or your divorce attorney when you feel like you need to let off some steam.
It’s also vital to keep in mind that negative posts about your spouse may come back to haunt you when negotiating child custody, visitation, and support. Voicing your concerns in a truly private setting can help you protect your children and ensure their best interests stay at the forefront no matter what you may be going through.
Social Media Posts Can Harm Your Case For Or Against Financial Support
Conflict over spousal support, alimony, and child support can often be heated. Whether you’re the one who may be required to pay support or you’re requesting it, posting about shopping sprees, expensive vacations, and even investments, such as real estate, can be a grave mistake. Keeping quiet about your spending and financial situation is beneficial no matter which side of the fence you may be on.
Generally, it’s just not a good idea to try and antagonize your soon-to-be ex-spouse in any way. If you own a business or need to keep your social media accounts for marketing or promotion, use common sense and talk with your divorce attorney about the right way to approach it.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyers To Schedule A Consultation
Facing divorce and hashing out issues, such as child custody and support, can be difficult, but giving social media a break can make it less stressful. At Thomas, Conrad, & Conrad, our family law attorneys can guide you through the divorce process, provide compassionate support, and ensure your rights and interests are protected. Contact us online or call 610-867-2900 to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations in Bethlehem, Stroudsburg, Allentown, or Topton, Pennsylvania.