Everyone uses social media, companies and individuals alike. It’s a moment of time captured in an image or a sentence. For some, it’s become second nature. We are in the twenty-first century, after all, most of what we do involves technology in one form or another. For some people its second nature, and impossible to separate them from their phone. Because social media during a divorce is admissible in court, you need to think about what you put in your posts.History and Purpose of Social Media
Back in the day, people use to write letters to each other, especially when they lived far away. Then there was the telegraph, allowing short messages to travel faster and farther. The telephone came along and allowed conversations to take place. Because of computers and the internet, social media was born and allows people to communicate instantly anywhere in the world! Social media is the choice means of communication for millennials. Since social media is so widely used and public, anything you post from any time can be dug up by anyone.
- Do: Think Before You Post on Social Media
How does this post make me look? Am I ranting? Am I bragging? Social media is second nature for some as they use it on an hourly basis. It’s easy to post carelessly whatever comes to mind without thinking about the consequences. When you post all the time its hard to remember that your posts are public. You’re posting to the world and whatever you say will impact someone out there. This may be acceptable for a teenager with no real responsibility, this isn’t acceptable for an adult in the middle of a divorce. You must think about the content of your posts and how it will impact your reputation.
- Don’t: Post Flashy Extravagant Vacations on Social Media
It’s common for people to create a persona online of a happier and wealthier self than they are in real life. Making yourself look like you’re excessively rich on social media isn’t a good idea during a divorce. Your trips and financial situation will play a role in your divorce settlement. Say you make a modest income, but have blog posts of extravagant trips and pictures of yourself fancy exotic hotel, this will count against you. If children are in the picture, you will probably pay child support. If you were the breadwinner, you might have to support your other half’s lifestyle while you were together. Bottom line, you don’t want to create a persona of a wealthy individual if this is not your reality. This will not play favorably for you in court. The opposing lawyer is looking for discrepancies between what you say and what your social media during a divorce says.
- Do: Posts That Show Admirable Character on Social Media
Anything that shows you are a good person or trying to improve yourself can’t count against you. Post about a book you read, what you learned from it. Showing that you learned how to do something new or creating value in your community are great examples of positive posts. These kinds of posts will show you have great character, a good standing citizen. This will work in your favor, especially if you have children at stake.
- Don’t: Post Pictures of You Drinking Excessively on Social Media
Social media offers people snapshots of your daily life. You don’t want to post anything that will show you in an unfavorable light. A judge will react negatively to photos of you binge drinking on a random night you’re watching your child. Lawyers and a judge are scrutinizing you, everything you do or don’t do will be questioned. You don’t want to jeopardize your future with your child.
- Do: Post Pictures of Family Time on Social Media
Posting pictures of a walk to the park with your children or short road trips to visit grandparents are acceptable public posts. These show you’re spending quality time and are trying to be a good parent. You’re fostering your relationship with your children, and paying attention to their needs. During this stressful time, you are setting aside time only for them.
- Don’t: Post Pictures of Dangerous Excursions
Family time makes great material for posts on social network sites. However, you must avoid posting or planning potentially dangerous events or trips. Even though you may not take pictures and post them on social media, other people might. These pictures will make you look irresponsible and will count against you for not having the other parent agree to this event. Additionally, you don’t want to plan a trip to the zoo and instead, take your child skydiving. Therefore, you shouldn’t lie and should avoid any discrepancies between your actions and your words.
Unless your divorce is mutual, the best thing you can do on social media during a divorce is to remain inactive. Because deleting posts is tampering with potential evidence, don’t do it. You must think about the potential consequences of each post on social media. Consequently, a rule of thumb is to ask yourself how the judge would react to your post.