Social media and its use (or misuse) has become a normal part of our everyday lives. It is becoming very common for attorneys to use internet posts as proof of a spouse’s poor behavior during a divorce. A 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that four out of five lawyers reported an increasing number of divorce cases citing evidence derived from social networking sites, with Facebook being the leader. Two-thirds of the lawyers surveyed also said that Facebook was the primary source of evidence in divorce proceedings.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind about social media if you are thinking about or currently going through a divorce.
Don’t use social media to vent.
Don’t use social media to vent about your spouse or your case. Social media can provide a support system but that doesn’t mean you should use your online supporters to tear down your spouse. Whenever you can, try to talk directly with your spouse about problems you are having. Posting negative things about your spouse can create tension among your family and friends and always remember that the internet lives forever. Whatever you post on social media can come back to haunt or hurt you or your spouse in the future.
Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your spouse (or a Judge) to see.
If you want to post something on social media, take a minute to ask yourself if it is something you would want your spouse to see. If not, think about not posting it. Always keep in mind that anything you post on social media could potentially be used as evidence against you in a divorce. You should always assume that your spouse might be able to see any information that you post on social media sites so act accordingly.
The best advice is if you have any doubt at all about a social media post — just don’t post it!