Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat are used by billions of people around the world. Chances are, you use one of these websites multiple times per day. However, what you say on social media websites could be permanently etched into the internet forever. You may not be able to take back posts that you later come to regret. It is especially important to remember this fact if you are going through a divorce that involves the court.
Electronically stored information (ESI) such as social media posts, texts and emails could be used as evidence during divorce proceedings. In such cases, your posts and messages could negatively affect the outcome of your divorce. Common social media mistakes people make include:
- Bashing the ex: Depending on the relationship dynamics prior to your separation, you may be very upset with your former spouse. You should be very careful not to insult your ex online. Consider that you may share friends or connections with your former spouse on social media. If your spouse or the court catches wind of these comments, it could lead to legal consequences or less favorable divorce terms. Of course, the consequences would depend on what you say. It is best to just say nothing at all.
- Harassing your ex-spouse: Harassing your ex over a social media platform can get you into legal trouble, especially in cases involving threats.
- Bragging about a raise or new possessions: In some cases, going through a divorce can hurt the ego. However, you could end up hurting yourself by creating a grandiose picture of your finances.
- Sharing irresponsible photos: Posting photos of yourself drinking heavily at parties could reflect poorly on your fitness as a parent. This is only one example. Sharing irresponsible posts or photos could affect the terms of your divorce.
Even if you use the maximum privacy settings for social media, whatever you share could still cause you problems. Social media platforms allow us to share our lives with others. During a divorce, especially a bitter one involving court proceedings, sharing too much information can get you in trouble.
You could temporarily stay off accounts that are not used professionally to avoid these common social media mistakes. However, you could also just be careful about what you are posting or liking. The decision is up to you, but do realize that you will be doing yourself a favor by exercising caution on social media.
The San Jose family law attorneys at Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP. could answer any questions you may have about your divorce. You can reach us by calling (408)296-4100 or filling out our online form.