Now that you have taken the step to start divorce proceedings, you may also want to scrutinize your use of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are such a normal part of many lives, and you may be surprised to learn that they are also becoming a normal part of many divorces.
In fact, you may not realize how much you share with the cyber universe until you try to imagine your status through the eyes of a custody judge or your spouse’s divorce attorney. While you may have nothing to hide and simply use your social media to vent, even those innocent status updates may be interpreted negatively against you.
Damaging your future one post at a time
Two of the most common disputes in a divorce are custody and support. It is within those realms that social media is helpful to your opponent. If you are expecting to receive spousal support (or hoping not to pay it), you may consider the ramifications of your Facebook statuses and shared photos. For example, posting pictures of a sudden trip to the beach or weekend at a Texas casino may suggest to your future ex that you have more money than you have admitted.
Similarly, photos or status updates that show you drinking or partying at a time when your children were with you may have negative consequences if your future ex decides to show them to a judge. As tempting as it may be to disparage or embarrass your ex-partner on Facebook, such actions may only come back to bite you in court. Keeping your social media presence to a minimum may be sound advice, at least until the divorce is finalized.
Living in a digital world
In addition to your social media presence, more courts are allowing divorcing couples to admit emails, texts and other digital communication as evidence during support or custody hearings. Once you launch anything into cyberspace, you have given it endless life in the digital world. Sending a message to a friend about illicit or illegal activities may jeopardize your custody chances. Sharing news of a promotion or raise may complicate your support argument.
These days, it’s nearly impossible to function in society without some kind of digital activity. However, during a divorce, when all your actions are under a microscope, you may find it advantageous to step back from the computer. Most divorce advisors do not recommend deleting your accounts since a court may interpret this as destruction of evidence. However, keeping a low digital profile may be much easier than trying to explain your way out of an incriminating Facebook status.