During a difficult time like a divorce, people often utilize social media to find support, acceptance and a distraction from the complexities of their offline lives.
However, using social media could work against you if you misuse it or if you do or say things online that adversely affect the legal process. Below, we examine a few tips for how divorcing spouses should use social media wisely.
Tip #1: Don’t assume anything is private
You might unfriend your ex, set your profile to private or set up accounts under new user names, but assume that what you do or say online can be used as evidence against you during a divorce. Not only are there ways to uncover true identities, it is also very easy for others to share anything they might read or receive online.
When you use social media, do so with the expectation that your ex or the courts could potentially see anything you say or share.
Tip #2: Don’t contradict yourself
Many people portray themselves differently online than they do in real life. We often see people saying things online that they wouldn’t say in person, or presenting an unrealistic image of their lifestyle. Under normal circumstances, such behaviors wouldn’t present a problem. However, during a divorce, if you come off as vindictive or brag about a luxurious lifestyle and these things contradict your statements and behaviors in court, you could ultimately hurt your case and your image in the eyes of the court.
Be careful with the image you present online, especially if it is very different what you do and say during divorce proceedings.
Tip #3: Don’t play dirty
Bad behaviors online have real-world consequences during a divorce. Things like hacking into an ex’s account, sharing illicit or compromising photos out of revenge or making false allegations online can ultimately get you in more trouble than your ex.
Rather than engage in these behaviors, consider talking to your attorney about legal strategies to build your case and pursue the outcome you want.
During a divorce, you may want to stay away from social media altogether, as it may not be as helpful as you think. However, if you do stay active online, you can use these tips to avoid costly missteps that could jeopardize your case and your future.