Does social media play a role in divorce cases?

In the last several years, social media has played a bigger and bigger role in divorce cases. With 68% of adults reporting they are Facebook users, three-quarters of those using the social media platform daily, it’s not surprising that for couples facing divorce, social media can complicate the situation.

Using social media posts as evidence

For example, attorneys can use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts as evidence in court against you or your former spouse. In fact, according to the National Law Review, 81% of attorneys present social media evidence in court.

This evidence can range from direct messages between a spouse and their extramarital affair partner to damaging comments from one spouse about another, which lawyers sometimes argue hurt their client’s upward mobility at work. Or, even more blatantly, a spouse who is behind on child support payments suddenly shows up all over Instagram enjoying a luxurious overseas vacation.

Even though you may no longer be connected with your former spouse on social media, your friends may comment if his old boat shows up being used by a friend when the sale of it was not part of dividing your divorce assets.

Taking caution with social media posts

Because of the prevalence of using social media posts in court, here are some general guidelines to follow so you don’t end up making your divorce case more contentious or you look like you are hiding marital assets:

  • Don’t post disparaging comments about your partner or vent about your relationship on social media.
  • Review your privacy settings and review past posts. Anything risqué or negative or mean-spirited about your divorce or spouse, delete.
  • Review your friends’ list. Anyone who you think might stir up drama between you and your ex or report on all your post-divorce life activity, unfriend now.
  • Avoid posting anything about custody agreements and discuss with your ex what you can agree on to limit infringing on your children’s privacy after the divorce.

When in doubt about posting something controversial regarding your divorce on social media, just don’t post it at all. When it comes to social media, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

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Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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