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How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce Case

Can Social Media Be Used Against You in Divorce?

Social media allows you to connect with others and find an online community, and you can share and learn so much about your hobbies, schedule, and life. However, everything you post isn’t just an update from your old friends, family, and followers; the opposing counsel can also review your posts to find information to use against you.

During the discovery phase, either party may obtain information and evidence to support their allegations and/or protect their interests as it relates to the divorce settlement. Social media posts and account information is admissible evidence and can be reviewed during negotiations or a trial. Photos, videos, comments, and direct messages can be reviewed and entered into evidence from the social media applications, including but not limited to:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • Tinder (and other dating apps)

Social media posts can be used against you in the following ways.

  • If you post pictures of expensive cars or trips, the opposing counsel may question whether you have hidden assets.
  • If you tweet disparaging remarks about your soon-to-be-ex or the case, this can negatively affect your child custody negotiations as this may support allegations that you are trying to alienate the other party from the kids.
  • If you are asking for a large alimony settlement because of a disability, posts of you out for a night of dancing or skiing can be used to disprove your claim.

What Should You Avoid Posting on Social Media During Your Divorce?

If you are active on social media during your divorce, you should avoid sharing:

  • Case details. What happens in court or negotiations should remain private.
  • Complaints about your ex or child. If you make negative comments about the other party, that can be seen as harassment or an unwillingness to foster a relationship between the other party and your kids. Complaining about your child, even jokingly, can also be misconstrued and twisted by the other party in an attempt to deem you an unfit parent.
  • Location details. Many social media apps allow you to share your location using geo-tags or check-in features. While this can be fun and convenient, you don’t want the opposing counsel to be able to track your movements.
  • Private information. Even if you are privately messaging someone, that information and message can be discovered. Don’t share personal details or thoughts with anyone online.
  • Financial information. You have a fiduciary duty to provide the court and the other party with a full, accurate financial disclosure. If you post or share content that suggests “you are rolling in dough,” your finances may be brought into question.
  • New relationships. If you start dating or begin a new relationship, your partner may not react well to the news. They may decide to dig into your finances to determine if you are guilty of wasteful dissipation, and if it is shown that your dates or new partner spend time with your children, that can impact the child custody determination.

Other Social Media Best Practices During Your Divorce

During your divorce, you may also consider reviewing your privacy settings and followers. While your posts are still discoverable if your account is private, having a private account ensures you know who has access to everything you post. You should prune your followers; if you are still friends with your soon-to-be-ex or their friends, you should remove them as followers.

It is also a good idea to talk with your friends and family about what to avoid posting. Their social media accounts can also be subject to review.

Should I Delete My Social Media Account During My Divorce?

While you should be mindful of what you post on social media, you should not delete your accounts or individual posts. The opposing counsel or court may believe that you are trying to conceal evidence, and your account and posts can be recovered even if you delete them. If you are concerned about some of your old posts, you should consult with your attorney.

Retain Our Firm

At Singleton Smith Law Offices, our divorce attorneys are here to help you successfully handle your divorce case. We can handle the case legalities and alleviate some of the stress by working tirelessly to protect your interest and advising you on the do’s and don’ts of social media usage during your divorce. If you believe the other party’s social media may contain helpful evidence, we can also investigate and review their social media profile and their contents.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling (951) 779-1610 or completing this online form.