I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over again: if you’re going through a divorce, it is extremely important that you think critically about and pay close attention to what you’re posting on social media sites.
Better yet – take a break from your social media accounts until the process is complete. You just might thank yourself for it later.
Increasingly, we see the opposing party searching through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to monitor what clients are doing… and in some cases, their online activity can significantly affect the outcome of a divorce proceeding.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce
I tell my clients to avoid social media altogether, but, since it’s such a prevalent part of modern life, that can be hard for some people to do. Here are some trouble spots where things get dicey during the divorce process…
Do not sell anything online. During a divorce, you’re not allowed to sell any property without the other side’s permission. My client heard a rumor that his now ex-wife was selling a property and a quick search on Facebook verified that she was indeed trying to sell their mutually owned washer and dryer.
Avoid sharing anything about the case on social media. We had one client, a songwriter, who was so heartbroken about his divorce that he wrote a song, recorded it, and uploaded it to his Facebook account. Later we received a motion that said he was in violation of the protection order against him for trying to communicate with his wife indirectly through his music.
Keep your life private during the proceeding. In one case, a woman claimed that she was completely distraught and emotionally damaged by the divorce proceeding… and yet, during the same time frame, images of her smiling, drinking a beer and socializing at a party emerged on Facebook. Those images completely undermined her case.
Avoid posting photos of purchases. Similarly, it’s not unusual for people to fight over money during their divorce. However, it would be a mistake to claim that you’re under financial duress and simultaneously post pictures of yourself making a large purchase, such as a car, a vacation or even getting a tattoo. That will be used against you should the other side be web-savvy enough to collect the evidence.
Better to be Safe than Sorry
My advice to clients is to shut down your social media account completely until your divorce is finalized. Of course, even if you’re very careful about what you post, if your account is live, you can’t keep other people from posting images or comments about you and publicly “tagging” you in the post. Best to be safe rather than sorry.
If you insist on keeping your accounts, at least consider making them “private.” Most social media sites have an option to make your information completely public or to keep it private or unlisted. Of course, even if your shared information is limited to “friends” it’s not that hard for someone to view your account if they really want to.
It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye your social media posts, whether you’re going through a divorce or not. Remember, information posted to the Internet is difficult to “take back” or delete, and once it’s out there, it can be used against you.
If you’re going through a divorce, call us at (720) 999-9506 to set up a free consultation.