Social media is a popular form of communication and almost everyone has a page on one platform or another. It is all rainbows and butterflies when the marriage is going well and you are posting all of your adventures on social media.
When the marriage goes sour and a divorce is imminent, social media may not be the place to vent about your troubles. Anything that you put on social media can be used against you when determining child custody, property division, and other aspects of your divorce decree.
Don’t post anything you might regret later
It may be difficult to refrain from posting but you should try your hardest. The first thing you should check is your privacy settings. Ensure that no one outside of your friend group can see your posts and that you cannot be tagged in any photos. This keeps your posts private and away from prying eyes.
This does not exempt your posts from being brought into question during the legal process. Staying away from social media altogether is the best way to go. It doesn’t give anyone the space to use your new lifestyle against you. That is not to say that you are doing anything wrong but even the smallest thing can be used against you during the divorce process.
Avoid talking about your ex on social media
Talking about your ex online whether it be good or bad can be used during the divorce decree. These posts can be seen by all your close friends and family. This only leads to more fights and arguments between not only your ex but also their family and those who have chosen their side. You should also refrain from posting memes or anything that talks negatively about marriage. This can be seen as hostile and can be used against you. The best rule of thumb is to simply not post anything directly or indirectly about your relationship.
To block or not to block?
During the separation process, you may think it is a good idea to block your ex and never have to see them again. One thing you should keep in mind is that you have accumulated dozens of mutual friends over the course of your marriage. It is likely that your ex may still be able to see you through your mutual friends’ pages.
Some of these friends may even take sides in the divorce and will go out of their way to find things on your social media pages that can help your ex win their case. Simply blocking your ex may not mean that they are unable to see you or your new life. You can block your ex if you do not wish to see them but do not block simply so they cannot see you. This also works both ways, meaning you may also see their new life through mutual friends. Remember blocking does not mean invisible.
What you should know about location tracking
Going through a divorce is hard enough and knowing that you are spending time with new people can be detrimental to your case. If you begin dating, keep your new partner off your social media posts. Also, keep in mind that many social media platforms track your location. Yes, you have the option to tag a particular location by choice, but some will automatically keep track of your location in the background.
Take Snapchat for example: the app allows you to see a map of where your friends are currently located. If your ex sees you on the map and notices you are spending quite a bit of time at a certain location, they can use it against you even if it was harmless.
Be careful posting new purchases
Social media is a major source of evidence collecting in divorce procedures. Spouses who are claiming the need for spousal support but then post a brand-new luxury car online can have their claim denied. Refrain from posting any big purchases online. This includes luxurious vacations and gifts that can be misinterpreted.
Any picture can be used to prove that a spouse is hiding assets or is getting rid of assets. Dissipating assets could mean selling off a car or other pricey item. Social media allows you to post ads and make sales and if your spouse finds one of these ads, you will be in a whirlwind of trouble.
Don’t delete your accounts or posts
You may be tempted to purge your social media profiles of any sight of your ex. Some will even decide to delete entire pages. This can actually harm your divorce case and you can be held liable for destroying evidence. Facebook accounts in particular can be discovered during the legal process, so before you delete anything speak to your divorce attorney first. Evidence can be found anywhere and the worst thing you can do is delete potential evidence.
Remember that anything can be used in court
Social media posts and pages are not the only things that can be used in court. Private messages and texts can also be used against you during a divorce. If you are excited about a promotion or upcoming bonus it is advised to not disclose this information to a friend using a text or social media message. This can relate to other things like an upcoming vacation or a new job offer. It is best to stay offline during the divorce process and if you want to delete or remove anything run it by your attorney first and foremost.
When you are going through a divorce, it can be one of the hardest things you will have to face. Confiding in friends and family can feel like an escape and part of your healing process. Ensure that your healing process does not include boasting or posting disparagingly on social media. When you need a divorce attorney in Knoxville, contact LaFevor & Slaughter at 865-637-6258 to discuss your case. You can also fill out our contact form online to schedule a consultation.
Patrick Slaughter is an experienced Knoxville attorney passionate about helping families resolve legal issues including divorce, family law matters and immigration. Patrick graduated from Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law, summa cum laude and is a published author. Patrick is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association as well as the Tennessee Bar Association. Contact Patrick Slaughter at (865) 637-6258 or by filling out a case evaluation below.
Read more about Patrick Slaughter