Your social media post can one day become a court document. And divorce proceedings are no exception. Emotional outbursts are an ordinary divorce matter. And to update your status might seem like the best way to cope. But you won’t feel the same when it will be thrown back at you in Court.
It’s going to be a big oops when your social media activities will contradict anything you said in Court or during negotiations. Below see the tips on how to be more alert on social media during divorce proceedings.
The Dont’s of Using Social Media During Divorce Proceedings
Don’t post photos where you look all cheery. Be that having awesome holidays or hanging out with friends at parties. If you construct a reputation of a party beast, problems during child custody can come forward. Parents that demonstrate irresponsible behavior have fewer chances. Spending time with friends can have a therapeutic effect on you, but refrain from sharing the details.
Don’t brag about newly acquired possessions. Because you don’t want to create a financial picture that isn’t realistic. Being careful with one’s spending is a plus when it comes to child support and alimony.
Be less aggressive when referring to your ex on social media. You might hate your ex to the guts. It’s OK, maybe they even deserve that. But letting the whole world know about it isn’t the best idea. Same goes for their family, their lawyer, their dog and everything else related to them. You might burst out your anger and feel a bit better later. But the dire consequences are not worth the short-term satisfaction.
Avoid complaining about your parental duties. If you post about how hard it will be to raise your children all alone, that will have some weight in court. Especially at the point where divorce proceedings will reach to the point of visitation and custody decisions. Too much complaining will act against you.
Don’t think that if you changed your privacy settings your information is fully under lock. Did you think about that one mutual friend you have with your ex? You better do because that friend can be a snitch. Not to mention, that Facebook is notorious for changing privacy settings without user’s consent.
Showcasing new romances is not advised. You have found your significant one, the new one. And you are impatient to let your friends on social media know. But don’t. Even if the affair has begun after the divorce proceedings, that information can be twisted against you nevertheless. Your ex can argue that you’ve been cheating.
Don’t delete social media posts. Because during divorce proceedings those are not just posts but legal evidence. This rule goes for posts, pictures and even messages. So, if you delete something, you are technically getting rid of evidence. In legal terms that is known as “spoliation” and can cause you lots of trouble.
If the Court finds out about the deletions, be ready to acquire a spoiled reputation. Furthermore, the Court can infer that if you deleted something so eagerly then it was something criminal. That is known as adverse inference – when the worst is assumed legally based on your deletions. You might have deleted a photo where you thought you didn’t look good, but the Court can assume it depicted you drowning in alcohol instead. Not to mention that you and your lawyer can be fined for deleting social media evidence.
The Do’s of Using Social Media During Divorce Proceedings
Look at what your friends post. It might seem that your social media presence is solely under your control but not really. Your friends can post about yourself in a way that is uncompromising. Don’t be naive to think that only your page is going to be searched. “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are” works here as well.
Speak positively of yourself. If you are a social media freak then you love talking about yourself. So when you do post about your persona do it in a positive way. Just think about it, you have the chance to be the maker of your reputation. But no your limits, don’t over-dramatize.
Follow people who might help. Sometimes on social media, it’s less about posting and more about reading what others have to say. If your divorce proceedings are causing you a lot of trouble, follow and make contact with individuals who can provide you with information and encouragement.
Social media’s goal is to bridge people. Do you know any other friends who are going through a divorce? Write them a private message and ask to meet. Such meetings can fill you emotionally.
Think twice before posting. That’s the easiest you can do but definitely the best. You can crack an inside joke in the comments and then during divorce proceedings its suddenly taken out of context and used against you. Want to know the best and the easiest way to avoid such scenarios? Just post less.
Have your snitch. Talk to a friend you trust and ask them to inform you when they see a possibly harmful information about you floating around the web. You, in turn, will show it to your lawyer.
During divorce proceedings, social media can be your friend or your enemy – you choose. But make sure to choose wisely. Don’t pour out all your frustration into lengthy status updates. Instead, you can even take time off from virtual reality and give your real-life problems the focus they deserve.