How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce
The use or misuse of social media can greatly impact a divorce. Messages or other content posted online can be used as evidence in the divorce case and increase tensions between the parties. In most cases, divorcing parties should either avoid or minimize their social media presence at least while their marriage dissolution action is pending.
Many people document their lives online. They share all sorts of personal information ranging from the momentous to the trivial, sharing unfiltered opinions and possibly even incriminating information. It can be difficult to cease all social media sharing, even if your divorce lawyer warns of the potential dangers that exist, including:
- Providing harmful evidence — Social media content is now often used for evidentiary purposes in family court. Internet and phone text conversations can prove infidelity. Web posts have been used as evidence that a spouse is hiding assets or enjoying an undisclosed income stream. Even positive content could hurt your case if your ex tries to refute the fact that you were mistreated.
- Increasing tensions — Divorcing spouses often take to social media to complain about their former partner or to share intimate details about their life together. Some people want to publicize their plight of ending the marriage in order to gain sympathy or support from extended families, friends or acquaintances. Other people use social media to harass or annoy their soon to be ex-spouse. While this might give you a moment of satisfaction, increasing tensions could thwart a potential settlement, potentially costing substantial time and money.
- Harming children — What you say and do in the virtual world could harm your children in real life. Even many preteens are active online and could be hurt seeing their parents mistreat each other on one or more social media sites. Often, people don’t erase what they post, so your son or daughter could come across hurtful messages years later, even if the conflict has eased between you and your former spouse. Reading about their parents’ divorce online may cause children to blame themselves for breaking up the family. Other children might see your dirty laundry as well and bully your son or daughter.
Social media does have some positive attributes, but while you’re going through a divorce, you should be very judicious about what you put online.
Long Island based Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. is one of the New York City metropolitan area’s most prolific divorce law firms. Our attorneys offer knowledgeable guidance on the effect of social media content during a divorce and numerous other issues. To schedule a consultation, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.