Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms are extremely popular. The majority of Americans have at least one social media account, if not several. For many people, posting on social media is second nature. They share pictures, thoughts, ideas, or opinions without even thinking about it. However, social media use during divorce can be risky. Anything you share online during a divorce has the potential to influence the outcome of your case.
How Facebook and Other Social Media Websites Can Affect Your Divorce
In a contested divorce case, each party is looking for evidence that strengthens their case. Evidence is gathered by each spouse’s attorney during the discovery portion of the divorce. You may be surprised to learn that information from social media websites is increasingly used as evidence in divorce cases. One study found that 81 percent of divorce attorneys had presented social media evidence in court.
Social media posts can affect divorce in many different ways. In some cases, social media posts may be used to demonstrate evidence of a spouse’s financial circumstances. For example, suppose a wife is requesting spousal maintenance during her divorce. She has petitioned the court for support on the basis that she does not have enough financial resources to support herself. However, during the divorce proceedings, she posts pictures of expensive new jewelry she purchased herself on Instagram. The husband may be able to use these pictures as evidence that her financial resources are greater than what she is alleging.
Information shared on social media can also influence child custody determinations. For example, if a parent involved in a child custody dispute posts videos of drug or excessive alcohol use while he or she is watching the children, the court may consider this evidence that the parent should not have as much parenting time.
Tips for Social Media Use During a Separation or Divorce
If your marriage is on rocky ground, you may be tempted to vent your frustrations on social media. However, it is important to realize that anything you post could potentially be used as evidence in your case. Many attorneys advise clients to simply forgo using social media until after the divorce or child custody dispute is over. However, if you do decide to share things on social media, make sure to avoid sharing anything that paints you in a negative light. It is also important to avoid sharing pictures, videos, or text that could hint at your financial circumstances.
Contact our Palatine Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced, reach out to Arlington Heights divorce attorney Nicholas Richardson for help. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation.