Social Media During a Divorce
These days, many people choose to express and shares their lives online through social media. However, during a divorce or family law case, social media can often serve as evidence against the parties when presented in Court. We here at Buckhead Family Law understand that emotions can be high during a divorce, and social media can seem like a good outlet to express yourself and feelings. However, parties to a divorce should be mindful of what they are posting online during this process, as you can never be sure who will see your posts or record them somehow. Any party to a family law case should consider the following when posting on social media while a case is pending.
- Cut Social Media Usage Down Before Divorce Filings
When your marriage is coming to an end, it can be enticing to look forward towards the next chapter of your life. This can be time for you to start over, thus bringing along the freedom for a “new you”. In today’s age, it is easy to want to begin that journey online, where all your family and friends can see. However, it is important to hold off on that until your divorce is over. It is always better to be safe than sorry; and it is generally safer to cut down social media usage all together until the divorce is over.
- Post Like the Judge is Reading
Divorces can be long and avoiding social media all together during that time can be understandably tough. Parties to a family law case should always assume that their online activity could be used against them in Court. Accordingly, you should only post things that you would be comfortable with a judge or jury reading. Good manners and common sense are always relevant when communicating online, but even more so during a divorce. Use a neutral tone in all your messages, comments and posts. Do not post anything about your spouse or your divorce case, do not brag about new purchases, and be careful when posting about parenthood.
- Do not Discuss New Relationships
Filing for divorce does not necessarily mean you are free to do whatever you wish. Until the divorce is finalized you remain married to your spouse, so dating before you get your divorce decree is discoverable in the divorce action and could be used against you. If you do find yourself in a relationship with someone else during a divorce, you should avoid posting photos together, posting romantic comments on your new friend’s page, and make sure you are not tagged in photos together by others.
- Assume DM’s Are Not A Secret
In the same fashion of being overly cautious on social media, assume that whatever you privately send to someone may not remain private. With screenshot capabilities on most smartphones and data compromises occurring frequently, anything can be preserved forever.
- Do Set Your Accounts To Private, and Do Not Delete Data
It is always a good idea to be cognizant of your social media privacy and how you are protecting your data, but this is especially important during a divorce. Making sure your social media is locked up so you can prevent unwanted attention from other people. That said, do not start deleting old posts, photos, or information! It may be tough to look back at things that remind you of your marriage. However, social media posts are subject to discovery during a divorce, so deleting social media posts can be considered destroying evidence. If having social media is too painful or too much to handle during a divorce, the best course of action is to just deactivate your accounts for the entirety of the divorce.
Social media can be a useful tool, but it is never a bad idea to be careful with it, and this especially applies during a divorce. If you are getting a divorce and have questions about your online presence, do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Buckhead Family Law.