How Social Media Can Impact Divorce
Social media has become the go-to tool for wishing a friend a happy birthday, sharing an event, and providing details about what is going on in your life. When you are in the throes of a divorce or child custody battle, however, it is in your best interests to be mindful of what you post on social media as it can negatively impact your divorce proceedings.
Negative posts can reflect negatively on you
Divorce is a challenging, emotional process and you may be tempted to vent your anger and frustration to your online friends and followers. Don’t. Posting these types of comments can reflect negatively on you. If you have older children, they may view your posts and your comments could be seen by the courts as undermining your spouse’s relationship with them. If your comments are threatening in any way, they can be used to obtain a restraining order. Generally speaking, the courts do not look favorably upon posting negative comments about a spouse on social media, so it is in your best interests to resist the temptation to share.
Photos shared on social media can be particularly damaging
Sharing photos of a fun night out with friends – or even being tagged in a photo while drinking at the bar — can be particularly damaging. If you are fighting for custody of your children, your soon-to-be ex may use these pictures to demonstrate that you are not a responsible parent. If you claim you are unable to take the kids on your designated day because you have to work, but then pictures circulate of you enjoying a weekend away with friends, your truthfulness comes into question. Saying you cannot pay child support while posting photos of your latest purchase will damage your case.
Think twice about “checking in” on Facebook
“Checking in” on Facebook is a popular feature for letting friends know where you are at a given time. It also creates a timeline and itinerary which can work against you in a divorce or child custody proceeding. Checking in to an adult establishment while you are supposed to be caring for the kids? Checking in to a restaurant several times a week when you say you have no money for spousal maintenance? This will work against you. Furthermore, by providing this information, your spouse or ex-spouse can track your whereabouts and arrive to capture photos as evidence of your lifestyle.
Be mindful of your social media presence
Be mindful of what you share on social media prior to and during the divorce process. Adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your posts but keep in mind that anything you share may end up in the public domain. If the temptation to share or comment is just too much to resist, consider taking a short hiatus from social media platforms until your divorce is finalized.
We protect your interests and your rights
At Bandle & Zaeske, our Wisconsin divorce attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience. We advocate on your behalf, protecting your rights and working with you every step of the way in the divorce process. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact our office at (414) 359-1424 or contact us online.