Divorce in the age of social media

| Sep 2, 2020 | Divorce |

Some of us still remember what it was like not to have a smartphone or even a home computer. These are now considered necessities for good reason, most notably because they are tools we use for work and how we communicate on a moment by moment basis (at least if we have a good signal or connection).

Those filing for divorce will need to be cautious about communication through social media. The reason is that not only can the rest of the world see, but so can the soon-to-be-ex and their legal team. This is part of our digital footprint and an increasingly important part of the information gathering process that happens early in the divorce process.

Some family law attorneys recommend staying off social media until the papers are signed. Sharing work triumphs, nights out with the girls, fun trips, and other milestones on Instagram or Facebook may seem like harmless fun, but these will now be analyzed by opposing counsel and even judges to determine the validity of disputes or concerns.

Some examples:

  • Fun trip: This raises red flags regarding spending marital assets and whether the financial numbers provided are appropriate for an expensive trip.
  • Girls night out: This could highlight accusations of alcohol abuse, addiction, or bad parenting.
  • Work triumphs: An attorney may attempt to see if a bonus or raise was not accounted for.
  • Angry tirades: Whether directed at a spouse, a political figure or a pressing issue, these can reflect poorly on the parent posting, mainly if custody or parenting plans are an area of dispute.

Keeping a low profile

Divorce is a difficult time, and there may be comfort gained by staying connected. Besides the initial feeling of support or affirmation, however, there is a minimal upside to sharing and can mean causing problems that slow down the process or make it more difficult.

Instead, contact friends and family through private means. Work, pay the bills, perform all the usual parental obligations, and quietly plan for a new and better future with an experienced family law attorney.