How Social Media Impacts Divorce Cases
We had someone ask a question about appropriate social media use during one of our consultations recently. They wanted to know if there could be any consequences if their spouse shared details about their divorce on Facebook. Legally, social media can be used as evidence in family law cases. Social media posts have been used as evidence for child custody disputes and proof of income. For example, if you made a big purchase during a divorce and posted it on your Facebook, your spouse could use it to argue that you weren’t truthful about your income during the financial disclosure.
Other than legal implications, monitoring your social media is how someone like a spouse could keep tabs on you throughout the divorce. Overall, one must use caution when using social media during a divorce. A lot of our clients choose to take a break from their accounts during their case which prevents any situation where social media could negatively impact their proceedings. Other clients find social media to be a beacon of support where they can stay in touch with their friends, which is also valid. For those that continue to use social media, we advise them to not post anything that they aren’t sure of. We tell our clients that if they have even an inkling that the post could be giving away too much information, or may inflame the other party, it should not be posted.
Still, harmless posts on social media can be misconstrued. A picture of someone out with friends having drinks is common on Facebook, but in the context of divorce could be used to argue that the spouse is a partier, or not fit to have as much child custody. Of course, a single post like this on Facebook will not “destroy” your case. Here at The Marchese Law Firm, we still believe it’s best to not throw any unnecessary variables in a divorce case so the process can be smooth and fast, which saves clients money and the stress of a prolonged case. Overall, we know our clients have the best judgment when it comes to social media, but we want to prevent any misunderstanding from the other side. Below is a list of some more guidelines for social media we have seen to work with our clients:
- Avoid including location check-ins on any posts. This could be used as evidence to establish where you’ve been.
- Do not post any details about your case.
- Go back through your posts and delete any posts that may be misunderstood and could paint you in a negative light.
- Do not communicate with the other party over social media.
- Do not share any posts that could be misconstrued. For example, any shared posts that could be interpreted as a “dig” at the other party, even if that was not the intention, could be harmful to your case.
- Do not post any pictures of big purchases or pictures taken at parties.
- Change your passwords if there’s any chance your spouse may know them.
In the video below, Rachael Lewandusky shares her experience and advice about social media during the divorce process.