Social Media Divorce “Do”s and “Don’t”s

Each year, more and more Americans are using social media in some capacity. In fact, by 2012, 56% of American had at least one social media profile. We’re connecting with friends, family members, classmates, coworkers, and complete strangers and sharing personal details of our lives on a daily basis. Like many things, social media has its pros and cons. Here are some social media “do”s and “don’t”s to keep in mind when going through a divorce.

Do evaluate your “friends.” There’s a good chance that not all of your “friends” (Facebook), “followers” (Twitter), and “connections” (LinkedIn) are truly worthy confidants and allies. In fact, in all likelihood, you and your estranged spouse share some mutual contacts and some may be more loyal to him or her than you. Remove the not-so close “friends” or update your privacy settings so they aren’t seeing more personal updates.

Don’t rush to share. For a lot of us, sharing everything from photos of our pets to our latest purchase on social media platforms has become second nature. However, when you’re in the midst of a divorce, you need to evaluate everything you’re about to share online. According to a recent WTOP article, you should assume that every tweet or status update could become ammunition in a divorce. For example, if you’ve just claimed you can’t afford spousal or child support but turn around and post photos from the lavish trip to Europe you went on last month with your new boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Another example, posting photos of yourself drinking champagne at a wedding may seem innocent but a spouse’s attorney may use those and suggest you have a drinking problem.

Do consider a total blackout. Look, going cold turkey when it comes to social media may be difficult, inconvenient, and even seem a bit extreme, but it is one sure-fire way to keep social media from having a negative impact on your divorce. The old adage “better safe than sorry” comes to mind.

Don’t react to courtroom events and rulings or attorney-client conversations. If things don’t appear to be going your way in the courtroom, resist the urge to jump on Facebook and bad-mouth the judge. In addition, a status update containing the phrase “my attorney said” could potentially be waiving client-attorney privilege. Avoid even the smallest updates like “My attorney said this will be an easy win.”

When going through a divorce, even if it seems amicable, be cautions in your use of social media. Use the “do”s and “don’t”s in this article to help you navigate the rocky terrain of social media and divorce proceedings. If in doubt, always consult with your divorce attorney.

Social Media Divorce “Do”s and “Don’t”s was last modified: March 22nd, 2016 by Judith Homan