Social media is a great way to keep up with friends and family. We share or read about the kids’ triumphs, personal setbacks, and just about anything in-between, so some will turn to Facebook, Instagram or other platforms to share or seek solace during a divorce. While this may seem like a good idea, quite the opposite is true.
An estimated 80% of divorce attorneys look at social media accounts searching for evidence to hold against you or your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Just because you unfriend a spouse, do not assume that your online actions will go unnoticed.
Why do they do this?
The short answer is that they are looking for evidence of bad or unflattering behavior. Examples can include:
- Angry messages: Nasty comments or sordid details about the marriage will likely be interpreted as counterproductive and could portray the spouse posting them as bitter, unstable or in a bad light.
- Photos: Everyone posts photos, but ones of a wine-fueled night out can lead to questions about your alcohol consumption, choice in friends or ability to parent, while ones of you enjoying an expensive vacation can lead to going through bank accounts with a fine-tooth comb.
- Contradictions: You may claim that you did or said something, but there may be digital evidence that reverses your statement or the timing of a claim.
- Dating apps: Membership on a dating app while married can lead to uncomfortable questions about your moral character.
- Oversharing: Juicy posts meant to hurt your spouse can make your divorce fodder for gossip, which can even get back to your kids.
The impact is real
These seemingly innocuous actions can impact custody arrangements and support. It may also jeopardize relationships with friends and family members. The simple solution is to stick with photos of happy children or to refrain from posting anything. Those looking to vent or share with a trusted friend can turn to an old-fashioned phone call or lunch meet-up as the much wiser option.