How Can Social Media Negatively Impact My Divorce?
Considering the high popularity and usage of social media, chances are that they will go through your publicly available messages on various social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social Media Comments that could Weaken Your Case
If you were contemplating divorce for a while, and shared status updates or messages on social media against your spouse that could be perceived as angry, abusive, or even threatening, the other party may be able to use them against you at some point during the divorce proceedings.
For instance, even if a friend suggested to you to hide marital assets or indulge in marital waste (frittering away of marital assets), your encouraging responses to such ideas could show you in a bad light in court and in the eyes of the opposing defense counsel.
Even if you had no intention to commit these wrongful acts, a visit to the casino or another expensive entertainment venue around the same time could be misconstrued when seen together with such conversations. This could undermine any argument you have that you are financially responsible.
Social media networks such as Facebook have a ‘checking in’ feature, which could disclose your visits to hotels or other travel and entertainment locations. So, even if you remain discreet on social media and avoid making direct comments, any social information about your activities or whereabouts could be twisted out of context and used against you.
Social Images and Videos could Hurt Your Claims
Your images and videos shared on social media showing you smiling, laughing, sun bathing on the beach, partying, or celebrating with friends could pour cold water on your claims in court or during a deposition that you suffered domestic abuse or violence (or were miserable) during the same period when these images or videos were posted online.
Remember the saying “a picture paints a thousand words”? Well, video says even more than that! If you are fighting a child custody battle in a divorce and the other party introduces photos or videos from your social media account that shows you drinking, acting wildly, and so on (which could mean your influence on the child is not exactly wholesome), it could hurt your claims.
If you did not attend a school function for your child, missed several of their sporting events (soccer or Little League for instance), or failed to visit her or him when they were hospitalized, and your social media account/s undermine your word that you had something vital to attend to – the chances of you winning custody could be in jeopardy. Parents that put their kids first will avoid these types of situations, so they do not hurt their case.
Discussing Your Divorce Proceedings on Social Media can Only Compromise Your Case
Your family and friends may be interested in knowing updates about your divorce proceedings. Once you indulge in sharing information publicly about your ongoing case, you may end up making remarks or observations that might not be appreciated in the court.
If the other side is watching, they take any opportunity to embarrass you in the court or harm your case, depending on how self-damaging your commentary may have been. Any discussions related to your ongoing divorce case should be done strictly offline.
Avoid making any case-related discussions even through private online messages or social chats. If you must give a status update on social media about your case, let your lawyer do it for you.
Things to Remember about Social Media
- If you are using Facebook, your ex-spouse may have friended some of your common Facebook friends. So, he or she could have access to your posts, even if you have changed the privacy settings to block outsiders from viewing them.
- If you are on Twitter, you should be aware that all your tweets are accessible to anyone, even if they do not have a Twitter account. You need to change your privacy settings and check “Protect my Tweets” in order to ensure privacy.
- Even if you want to delete some old social media content during the proceedings, never do it without consulting your divorce attorney. Any suspicious behavior could be viewed negatively by the opposition and your spouse.
- If you have downloaded social apps on your cell phone, simply deactivate the geo-location feature from them so that you are not leaving a trail of your movements on social media.
- Avoid accepting new or unknown friends or joining or following new groups or social media pages while your divorce proceedings are ongoing.
Consult with an Experienced Alabama Divorce Attorney Today
Alsobrook Law Group has a dedicated and tenacious team that will work hard to ensure you achieve the best possible outcomes in a divorce. Call 334.737.3718 or contact us online for a free consultation.