Social media has become a big part of our current culture, but sometimes making your life an open book may not be in your best interests, especially if you are going through a divorce. For some, the walls of social media become an easy place to vent as well as celebrate, But if you are not careful engaging in either on sites such as Facebook and Twitter can prompt investigation by your spouse’s attorney and can potentially cause you to lose ground in your own case. These losses can be financial, such as losing access to retirement income or being forced to give up other property or they may even be personal, such as reducing your parenting time with your children.
Privacy is Relative
Even when privacy settings are high, that doesn’t mean that a judge or your spouse’s lawyers can’t potentially get a hold of information about you that is posted on social media. Married couples often have mutual friends, and if those people pick sides it can lead to trouble. For some, it can be tempting to post information about a trip you have taken or a gift you have given or received. Even if you have been unfriended by your spouse on social media, or have done this yourself, you can still discover information posted about your spouse — and they can discover things that are posted about you.
One thing that is private, or should be is your telephone. Even if you have a shared cell phone plan, your spouse shouldn’t be able to use verbal phone calls against you. Written communication may be a different matter, however. Even if you delete text messages you have sent or received, it doesn’t mean they have been deleted by others in the conversation. These conversations, or even emails can be used as evidence in court.
Protecting Yourself From Social Media Damage
Many attorneys will counsel their clients to stay off of social media as much as possible during divorce proceedings, and to deactivate any accounts that you have had shared access to. Once the dust clears, you can start over with new accounts that are accessed on a computer that you have never shared. While it is impossible to dictate your friend’s social media activity, it is a good idea for you to ask them not to post pictures of you or tag you in their posts. If you can’t trust them to do this, it can actually be better to cut your social media ties with them until your divorce is final.
The Upside of Social Media
Not all social media is strictly social, sites such as LinkedIn that show off professional pursuits and don’t focus on your day to day life may even benefit your case by showing your vocational growth, which may be viewed as become more stable and responsible. This is especially true where custody issues are at play.
No two divorce cases are alike, and everyone that goes through the process carries their own set of strengths and weaknesses. An insightful divorce attorney will be able to look at yours and present you in the best light possible, and prepare you for whatever dark spots your spouse may try to find.