You may not think something as trivial as social media could make an impact on a legal process such as a divorce claim. In law, however, social media activity can become evidence. What you post on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook could be used against you during a divorce case. It can be critical to the success of your case, therefore, to stay off social media until your divorce has been finalized.
What Content On Social Media Could Hurt Your Divorce Claim?
What you believe is harmless social media activity may be anything but. During a divorce case, your spouse’s defense counsel can search through all of your social media accounts – including those with strict privacy settings – for evidence to use against you. An attorney can twist almost anything you say or post against you during a divorce case.
It is wise to keep any new developments in your love life quiet until the completion of your divorce case. Updating your status to “In a Relationship” with another person could negatively affect your ongoing divorce. For example, your ex-spouse may be able to argue against giving you custody by showing that you are already introducing your child to a new person.
Photos of New (Expensive) Purchases
Don’t post any photos, videos or information about new purchases you made while going through a divorce case. This could be portrayed as you trying to reduce your financial assets in preparation for a divorce. Frivolous spending – such as on a new TV, car or boat – could also work against you if you wish to file a claim for spousal support.
Jokes or Threats About Hiding Assets
Never make light about hiding assets on social media (or off of social media). This is a serious crime during a divorce case. Even if you were only making a joke and weren’t actually going to hide assets from your ex, the courts will take it as a reason to investigate your financial status further. Whether or not the courts find any hidden assets, indulging in these jokes can position the courts against you.
Badmouthing Your Spouse Online
The courts will look at many factors when deciding something as important as child custody – including your social media activity. If you have several posts or comments badmouthing or threatening your spouse, this could impact your claim to custody if a judge thinks your behaviors or attitude could have a negative effect on your child.
Photos of You Enjoying Yourself
If part of your divorce involves allegations of domestic violence or abuse, photographs posted on social media where you are partying or celebrating could hurt your case. Your goal will be to prove that your spouse caused you emotional distress – something that will be harder to do with photos posted online of you enjoying yourself.
How to Use Social Media Wisely During Your Divorce
Your spouse’s attorney will be able to use almost anything you post online to hurt your case. Even if you think you’re being careful online, it can surprise you what a lawyer can twist around and use to portray you as an unfaithful, dishonest, unreliable or even violent person. The best way to keep yourself safe is by staying off social media entirely.
If you must use social media during an ongoing divorce case, remain discreet. Do not post any direct status updates or comments, especially about your divorce or your activities. Do not check-in to different locations or let your whereabouts be known. Do not post any images or videos online that reveal anything about your life. Tell your friends not to tag you in these types of posts, either. Never discuss your divorce with anyone online, even in private messages.
Before you delete old social media content during a divorce proceeding, consult with a divorce attorney. Even deleting things could make you look suspicious to a judge. Work with an experienced attorney to understand what to do and what not to do on social media during a divorce case in Colorado to fully protect your rights. A lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes.