Facebook Divorce and Social Media

Edit on April 1, 2015. We are recommending our clients do not use twitter while going through a Family Law matter including divorce, separation, or a child abuse case. And be extremely cautious with any social media including Facebook, snapchat, instagram, etc. The information provided may easily be seen by the opposing side and used against you. If you want to reach out to family members and friends there are much more private methods including using the phone, or meeting with them in person. We understand some people feel the need to use social media to continue socializing. If that is the case use caution with anything that could deal with or impact your case. Every week a new story is coming out on CNN, TMZ, The Washington Post about another person who is facing charges or has impaired their case based on what they’ve said or shared on-line.

Original Post::

There was a very good New York Times article recently calledFacebook’s Last Taboo: The Unhappy Marriage. It discussed what you shouldn’t share on social media sites while going through a divorce. We will take it a step further and say there are also things you shouldn’t share AFTER a divorce. For example, if there is spousal support (alimony) involved what you post online could impact the alimony payments. Talking about your new job, a raise, even a promotion could trigger your ex bringing you back to court. It’s best to avoid these situations altogether whenever possible.

In the article the author starts by telling us that one day a husband and wife both posted messages on their own Facebook pages saying they “are no longer married.” There was more to the message, but the key was the marriage had ended and they were walking away on good terms. And this is one area where Social Media is getting interesting. As the article points out, and what some people already know, is people share only what they want others to know. And those things are usually very positive – going on a vacation, seeing a basketball game, taking the kids to the zoo. What we don’t share or see a lot of are the not-so-good pieces of life, such as arguments, family squabbles at Thanksgiving, and yes Divorce. Those are the moments that most people feel are too private to share. Or they feel they don’t want to show a vulnerable side when it comes to themselves or their significant others.

This is why apps like Whisper are becoming so popular. They allow people to share their issues, problems, and confessions in a more private forum. People can say anything positive or negative believing it will never get traced back to them. While that sounds good on paper, the reality is the information is now on the Internet. Once it’s online it may not be as safe as you think. As Sony Pictures showed us with the recent hacking incident even private online information has a way of getting out there. So before you decide to share how you really feel about someone or something you may want to consider what would happen if that information got out. In fact the guardian recently reported that Whisper is keeping some user information for tracking purposes, and may have the ability to figure out who some of their users are. That should give people pause when it comes to what they are saying online. However, back to the topic at hand…

With our clients we recommend a high level of privacy both on and off-line. Things that people say online before, during, and even after a divorce can have a large impact on the outcome. All it takes is one slip up to potentially throw off your goals. We are not advocating for complete silence however. People have lives and must continue to live them. Plus divorces can last for years. A lot of people nowadays would be hard pressed to not post on Facebook, Instagram, or their other favorite sites during the whole period. What’s critical though is knowing what you can and shouldn’t say during the divorce. More and more judges are allowing social media into the courtrooms. This has shown up in both Divorce and Child Custody cases. People say something off the cuff about a raise, or a promotion, and their soon to be ex might be able to use that information to change their alimony (spousal support). Similar situations have happened with Child Custody cases. One parent says the wrong thing, or posts the wrong picture, and it could impact how much time they get to spend with their children.

If you are going through or considering a Divorce Contact Us to discuss your case as what you do ahead of time also can have a big impact on the outcome.

On the flip side what your ex or soon to be ex posts online could be used as part of your case. So it’s important to know all of the facts about this topic.

Here are some topics that you probably shouldn’t post about during a divorce or child custody case:

  • Anything that shows off your spending and lifestyle including new purchases (house, boat, car, etc).

  • Anything negative about your ex or soon to be ex.

  • Topics dealing with your case. And never divulge any advice your attorney has given you.

  • Anything negative about family members. When it comes to a child custody case you might be looking to have a grandparent or other relative involved.

  • Anything negative relating to your children as it could impact your child custody case.

The list above is just some of the more obvious ones. And these examples don’t just apply to Facebook. Any web-site or app that shares information should be something you need to think about before using. This goes for Facebook, twitter, instagram, whisper, a personal blog page, and any other site or app that hasn’t even come out yet.

If you are a celebrity or athlete this may be even more critical. Once you say something online it may get repeated over and over again – especially if it has to do with a divorce or child custody case. When it comes to celebrities and divorce anything “juicy” can be re-tweeted hundreds of times. Trying to down-play or even hide that information later may not be possible. So err on the side of caution, and if something is a questioning mark then go with not posting it.

If you are going through a Divorce, sit down and talk with your Attorney about Social Media postings and how they could impact the outcome of your case. Then do yourself and even bigger favor and listen to their advice. Just don’t post what they tell you on Facebook.

If you need to talk with a Divorce Attorney or a Child Custody Attorney Contact Us to discuss your case.

Topics Discussed Here:

  • Facebook Divorce

  • What not to share online during a divorce

  • What not to share online during child custody

  • Facebook Child Custody Case

  • Facebook Divorce Case

  • Twitter Divorce

  • Celebrity Divorce