Social media, according to University of Chicago researchers, may be more addictive than alcohol and tobacco. It has also played a large role in marriage. For example, one-fourth of polled couples said that their Facebook caused at least one weekly argument and 81% of divorce attorneys routinely use social media evidence in divorce cases. Couples ending their marriage should use social media carefully.
Any postings, even shared among friends and relatives, may be used against you in a divorce or custody battle. This is particularly damaging if the post was venting, alcohol-induced or made with little thought. It is usually impossible to un-ring that bell.
The safest option is to quit posting during your divorce. The second best social media guidance is to never post anything on social media or anywhere else that you would not share with the judge presiding over your case, your parents and children, your former spouse and that spouse’s lawyer and parents.
Pictures can be permanent and persuasive. Do not post any photographs of you in a compromising situation, especially those involving drugs, alcohol, dating or sex. Like other postings, consider whether you would be reluctant to share theses photographs with your family or anyone involved in your divorce.
If there is any doubt, do not post the photo. Once posted, these visuals cannot be taken back.
Likewise, postings of expensive purchases and vacations can be damaging. These may be used against you in negotiations or litigation over child and spousal support and property division. Consider whether postings of other purchases, friends and activities contradicts any position you took in your divorce.
If you decide to spend time on social media, consider changing your passwords often and keeping these passwords in a safe place. Learn about Facebook’s privacy settings to block anyone who should not know about your activities and thoughts. Use them and keep up with any changes.
De-friend your soon-to-be-former spouse and anyone who may hurt your interests, but remember that privacy is never a certainty, and your postings may be seen by an unintended audience even after you have changed your social media settings.
This guidance also applies to public or private e-mails, texts, or other messages. An attorney can assist you with dealing with social media and provide guidance.