The number of people who keep their thoughts to themselves may be decreasing as more and more people embrace the world of social media. Whether posting inspirational memes or ranting about incompetent co-workers, social media is an outlet for every point of view. If you use social media, you likely find it is a helpful tool when your emotions overwhelm you.
Perhaps there is no greater time for emotion than when you are going through a divorce. One of your first impulses may be to post your feelings and obtain the support of your many followers. However, family law experts discourage this. In fact, you may not even realize how your social media posts may affect the outcome of your divorce.
Social media as evidence
Among the growing population of social media users are attorneys. In fact, if your divorce promises to be in any way contentious, your spouse's legal team is likely monitoring your social media sites. It is also more common for an attorney to subpoena one's electronic presence as evidence in a divorce. This includes your emails and GPS history.
However, before you go deleting that history or deactivating your accounts, you should be aware that a Minnesota family court may consider such actions as destroying evidence. The best advice advocates offer is to stop using your social media until the settlement of your divorce.
What are they looking for?
Essentially, your opponents will be combing your social media for anything they can use against you. This can be especially worrisome if child custody issues are in the balance. Additionally, questions of spousal support may hinge on a status or picture you post on Facebook. These crucial elements of your divorce may be damaged by any of the following:
- Pictures of you on a lavish vacation
- Posts about new purchases, expensive dinners or spending sprees
- Posts about a new job, bonus or promotion
- Information about side businesses on job-sharing sites like LinkedIn
- Posts or photos of you engaging in illegal or dangerous activities
- Posts about substance abuse or alcohol use while the children are in your care
- Any post that contradicts information you have given in discovery
Making your status private is not fail-safe. If your friends have access to those incriminating pictures or posts, it is likely your spouse's attorney will find a way to access them. It is possible for your former spouse to misconstrue even seemingly innocent status updates.
The wisest course of action for someone going through a divorce is to heed the advice of an experienced attorney. Your lawyer has dealt with couples in similar circumstances and has seen the unfortunate results of oversharing on social media during a divorce. With prudence and sound advice, you may minimize any negative consequences.