How Your Use of Social Media Use Can Impact Your Divorce
You’ve just found out that your spouse has been cheating on you in a long term affair. To make matters worse, he tells you that he wants a divorce.
Furious, you immediately go on Facebook to vent your anger with your closest friends. Is this a wise move?
Probably not. Even if you restrict the number of people who can see your postings, it’s best to keep these matters off social media.
Here are some types of postings that could later come back to hurt a spouse in divorce proceedings:
- “I’m so mad at him. Tonight I’m going out to get completely drunk. Wanna join me?”
This posting might not help a mother’s later fight to show that she should be awarded primary custody.
- “Just wait until Jane tries to go after me for my property. There’s no way she will find my secret banking account.”
Each person in a divorce will have a duty to fully disclose assets. If the “secret” bank account is not disclosed, there will be severe consequences.
- “I’m going to make Jack pay for divorcing me. I will literally destroy his life. He has no idea who he is dealing with.”
Statements such as this can negatively impact many aspects of a divorce. It can show that the writer is unbalanced, and clearly of the “revenge” mindset, which could indicate that restraining orders might be warranted. As with the first statement, it could also indicate that the writer should not have custody of the children.
- “Betty’s anger about the divorce is really hurting little Johnny. He cries every night about how mommy is leaving him.”
While this may be true, how will a court view this disclosure of personal information? What if another parent tells their children about the statement, leading to Johnny being taunted at school?
Parents certainly share personal information with other close friends (usually who are also parents) in an effort to learn information about how to solve problems that they may be having with their children. But doing so during a divorce is not the time to make a written, public record of information, which can only hurt the writer.
Before You Post, Consider the Impact
Certainly factually neutral statements on social media will be acceptable, such as:
- Jane has filed for divorce
- As the result of our divorce, I’m going to be living at the MeadowView Apartments
- I will have custody of the children on weekends
- Our divorce hearing is scheduled for tomorrow
Because these types of communications are simple facts, and thus cannot be used against a person. This information is not harmful to the other spouse or to children. Beyond simple facts, it’s best to leave off all details and especially opinions. When in doubt, leave it out.