Social Media Habits to Avoid During a Divorce
Divorce is challenging, which is why so many people take to the most readily available outlet they know to vent their emotions: social media. Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends, sharing exciting experiences, and getting into contact with new people. However, during a divorce, social media can be damaging and dangerous.
While social media can sometimes serve as a great outlet, it should never be a place you go to share personal information pertaining to your divorce.
Find out what bad social media habits you need to break during your divorce:
1. Rants and Outbursts
Although it may feel cathartic to voice your emotions to the online world, the results could be far more lasting than you imagine. While your intentions may be innocent, sharing any information about your upcoming divorce – your spouse’s unfaithfulness, financial issues, child custody disputes, or other similar problems – should be completely off-limits. These types of posts can be used as evidence against you in the divorce. Even if your ex and you are no longer connected via social media, don’t assume that your social accounts are private. He or she could still find out what you’re posting through friends, relatives, or other mutual connections.
2. Sharing Your Location
Nowadays, technology makes it easier than ever for us to keep track of one another. While it may seem second-nature to share a picture of yourself on vacation or “check in” at a fancy restaurant, if you are going through any type of legal dispute, you need to think about the potential consequences. Sharing your location during your divorce could give your spouse ammunition to use against you in court. For example, if you are on vacation in the Bahamas, he or she could use that information to prove you do not need as much alimony as you are asking for. Or, this could be used to show that you do not have enough time to share equal custody of your children. Whatever the angle, always consider how sharing your location could cost you in the long run.
3. Posting Images of Drinking
A photo of yourself with a glass of wine on the couch may seem innocent enough, but it could wind up hurting you in court. Always consider any image you post as potential evidence used against you in a custody battle, property division argument, or any other aspect of your divorce. If you are caught drinking, even if it is only one drink, on a night you have the children, your ex could go so far as to accuse you of being an unfit parent. Even if you think you can disprove this accusation, it’s always better not to risk it, so never share images or posts about alcohol, drugs, or anything else that could be construed as dangerous or irresponsible behavior.
4. Sharing Legal Information
In any legal issue, family law or otherwise, you should never share legal information with anyone other than your lawyers. However, it can be tempting to vent about your current frustrations online or seek advice from your social network. Refrain from sharing anything about your divorce strategy, meetings with your attorney, court or mediation appearances, etc. If you have something you need to get off your chest, or if you simply need support, talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re going through and stay away from the internet.
Why is Social Media Such a Threat During Divorce?
Social media posts can be used in court as evidence against you, which is why it is crucial to keep all sensitive information to yourself and away from online outlets. Also, the type of gossip and turmoil any inflammatory post could generate wouldn’t only affect you, it could make things more difficult on your children as well. If your kids see you bad-mouthing their other parent online, or if they see you venting about the difficulties of the divorce, it could leave them feeling guilty, confused, frustrated, and hurt. Even if they do not see your social media themselves, they could catch the gist of the message from friends or relatives. Instead of chancing this type of reaction, keep sensitive information to yourself, and be sure to communicate with your kids about how they are handling your divorce.
If you are about to begin the divorce process and you aren’t sure what you need to do to prepare or protect yourself, discuss your options with an experienced Washington attorney. Contact McKinley Irvin to discuss your case with our compassionate, award-winning lawyers.