Social media is where many people turn when they have intense and unpleasant emotions. They have friends who can support them or may at least feel better when they have an opportunity to vent in a semi-public space.
Especially in scenarios involving misconduct, like a cheating spouse, people may turn to their online communities when they are in need of validation and support. Unfortunately, venting on social media may set them up for a much messier and more complicated divorce than they would have experienced otherwise.
If you believe that you may soon file for divorce or that your spouse will, it is important to carefully scrutinize your social media habits so that you can avoid preventable divorce-related challenges inspired by social media activity.
Review your friends and your privacy settings
One of the first things that anyone facing a potential legal issue should do is look at what is publicly available in their name. While technically anything that you share on social media may become evidence in a criminal or family law case through the discovery process, often it is what people share publicly that causes the most problems. Removing or blocking certain people can help, as can moving most of your content to private or friends only until after your divorce. You should also refrain from airing your maritl disputes in any online format.
Realize that nothing online is private
If you send one of your co-workers a personal message on a social media platform complaining about your spouse, you don’t know whether or not they might decide to screenshot your message and send it along to your spouse.
Whether you belong to private groups on social media or communicate directly with specific social contacts, you should act with the understanding that anything you share could end up in the hands of your spouse’s lawyer or even a judge. In fact, even things that you delete or keep private could end up being used as evidence against you.
Keep an eye out for useful evidence
Just like your spouse could use things that you share on social media to complicate your legal position, you can also find evidence to use against them on their social media profile. Messages sent threatening you or posts bragging about their new romantic partner while you have not even filed for divorce yet could potentially influence what happens during your upcoming divorce.
Discussing concerns like social media use early in the divorce process can help you avoid mistakes that could lead to a less favorable outcome during divorce negotiations with your ex or litigation in family court. As a result, you’ll want to be as proactive as possible.