Tips for handling social media during a divorce

What you post on social media could be used against you in a divorce.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world have one or more social networking accounts. Whether for personal use or for purposes of business marketing and promotion, social networking allows us to stay in contact with people even when distance separates us. We can log on to our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram accounts and instantly get connected to people we know and love.

Obviously, there are many positives associated with social media and electronic communication in general, namely the sense of community and support we feel, particularly if we keep our connections limited to friends and relatives. We can count on them for congratulations in good times and condolences when things are tough.

If you are going through a divorce, you may be tempted to rely on your social network for love and support, or for a "shoulder to cry on" to vent about your spouse. Before you post an insult-laden rant, complain about the court case, bash the judge overseeing your divorce or record a tearful video that you want to share, you should think long and hard about the possible ramifications, however.

No such thing as "privacy"?

Even if you have employed numerous measures in an attempt to keep your social media content from being made public, there are still ways that it could be discovered. This is true even if you delete items, as there may be screenshots that have been captured or cached versions lurking on the internet. Data is discoverable from "disappearing" applications like Snap Chat.

When you post something on social media, it is possible that it will be seen not only by your list of connections, but also be shared elsewhere. This means that, even if you and your spouse are no longer "friends" online, a mutual connection could be relaying information to him or her without your knowledge. The post you made in a pique of anger where you accuse your spouse of being a bad parent could be easily interpreted as an attempt to alienate your children's affections.

A good rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn't say it in front of a judge, don't say it online.

A word of caution to your friends and family

It is also important to remember not only to watch your own language and posts, but to also caution your friends and family to do the same where you are concerned. If, for example, a former college roommate posts old pictures of you drinking at a party, it might appear that you have some substance abuse issues. Coworkers "checking you in" at a rare late night of work could be seen as you caring more about your job than your children.

There are always two sides to every story, of course, but by posting things on social media related to your divorce, you are potentially injecting unnecessary debate and drama into an already emotionally fraught situation. If you choose to remain active in your social networks while a divorce is pending, you should do so with an overabundance of caution. Your best bet is to take a "vacation" from social media until your case has been resolved, or at the very least to significantly lessen the amount of electronic communication you do (including social media posts, text messages, emails and message board posts). To learn more about how social media and electronic evidence could impact your divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney at the Colorado Springs office of James L. English, P.C. Call the firm today at 719-602-5662 or send an email.