Social Media During Divorce: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Depending on your situation, social media interaction can be good or dangerous when it comes to a divorce. We are sharing some tips on how to avoid conflict on social media, whether you are currently going through a divorce, recently divorced, or considering your options.
The Good: How Social Media Makes Things Easier During a Divorce
Social media can be a wonderful tool for divorced parents to share the experiences of their children, even if they are not with them 100% of the time.
In the age of social media, Mom can share a picture of their daughter going to kindergarten for the first time within minutes so that Dad, who may be living in another state, can share the experience almost instantly. Extended family can also see this special day within minutes of it happening.
Skype and other programs like FaceTime give parents who may not live locally so much more of an opportunity to have day-to-day interaction with their children, literally making them able to see their faces every day. Telephone calls are not the same as seeing your child’s face light up when they get a chance to talk to you. Also with very small children, telephone communication may not be a viable option.
The Bad: How Social Media Makes Your Divorce Worse
Going back to social media, are the pictures you are posting appropriate? Are you “oversharing” your feelings about your separation or toward your estranged spouse? Perhaps you are being “checked in” to places that may be questionable?
The downside to social media is that it makes you easily accessible.
While your Facebook page may be limited to your friends, are you getting tagged in someone else’s photographs, statuses, or location check-ins that may cause problems? Your estranged spouse may be “friends” with someone who tagged you in a picture and they then take it upon themselves to share the information with your estranged spouse. You should always be careful not only of what YOU post but also what others post about you or tag you in.
The best rule of thumb is to be sure that any social media interactions involving you would not cause a judge to question your ability to care for your children or otherwise view you in a negative light concerning your case as a whole. We often suggest clients minimize their use of, if not completely shut down, their social media accounts if they are negotiating or litigating an active domestic case to avoid any problems that may arise.
The Ugly: Social Media Can Cause Lasting Damage During a Divorce
Those late night chats on Facebook with your old high school boyfriend….no one will ever find that….right? Think again.
It is VERY easy to pull information off of smartphones and computers so long as the other spouse can legally have the information examined by a computer forensic professional. If your smartphone or laptop is a marital asset, it is most likely legal to obtain this information.
You should consult with an attorney to discuss what access is legal and illegal.
All those deleted texts? Almost any skilled computer forensic professional can get them. This type of evidence can often be used to prove extramarital affairs that can impact alimony claims as well as expose third parties to law suits for alienation of affection and criminal conversation by the wronged spouse. You cannot depend on hitting the “delete” button to get rid of any inappropriate communication you may have with someone. This type of evidence can have a significantly negative impact on you and the third party you are speaking with as well.
In summary, remember that any electronic communication or information you share on social media could end up in the hands of the opposing party. Be careful that you do not offer them their best evidence against you through misusing social media.
Consult with a Raleigh Divorce Attorney Today
Navigating divorce is a tricky task, but working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Raleigh will help ease that burden. You can contact a member of our team by calling 919-301-8843 or by completing the online contact form below.
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