If you’re like many Americans, you have at least one social media account. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or another of the countless networks available, your social media account can pose a significant threat to your divorce case’s outcome. Before you click “post,” discover why you may want to avoid sharing too much with your social networks during your divorce.
Social Media Can Make Your Divorce More Challenging
Divorces are already an emotionally charged situations, so it’s natural to want to vent about it on Facebook. What happens, however, when your soon-to-be-ex sees your complaints? Or worse—they see you posting something they weren’t meant to see? If your ex-spouse feels insulted, belittled, lied to, or discovers something else hurtful, they may try to make your divorce settlement much more difficult out of spite. This goes for things like joke posts, memes, screen captures of others’ posts, and anything else that could be construed as negatively referring to your ex, even indirectly.
Social Media Can Harm Your Testimony in Your Divorce Case
Oklahoma is one of the few states that still requires you to prove fault in a divorce, or demonstrate that you are no longer compatible. If your posts on social media feature your new boyfriend or girlfriend, go against the things you told your spouse, or otherwise can be used to show that you’re not blameless, you may be setting the court against you. If your spouse can use social media activity to demonstrate that you’re the one to blame for the divorce, you might not be able to repair the damage and can find yourself receiving a less-than-favorable ruling. You can find yourself paying more and receiving less after the divorce is finalized.
Social Media Can Harm Your Child Custody Case
If you have children involved in your divorce, their custody will need to be settled. In a contentious divorce, your spouse may look at your social media for evidence that you won’t be a responsible parent and it wouldn’t be in the best interests of your children to grant you custody or allow you to have significant visitation rights. Photos you are tagged in, check-in posts, and even the content of your posts can be used to demonstrate that you won’t be a good parent to your child. Even bad-mouthing your ex on social media can be used as evidence that you’re not willing to support your child’s continued relationship with their other parent. And if you’re friends with your children on social media, your posts can cause them emotional pain, turn them against you or their other parent, and cause lasting damage to your family.
Social Media Can Harm Your Property Division
It’s natural to want to protect your own interests and maximize the property you receive from the divorce. If you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, your spouse may look for ways they can ensure they gain the upper hand in your divorce. Posting on your social media about your luxurious purchases, frequent partying, travels, or other things that indicate a wealthy lifestyle can give your ex-spouse the ammunition they need to show that they deserve spousal support, child support, or a greater share of your marriage’s property. If you tried to hide assets or weren’t wholly truthful in your statement of personal finances, your social media activity can alert the judge to your deception. Trying to prevent an equitable division of marital property can mean that you’ll be penalized by the judge and receive a lesser share than you may have been entitled to.
Protect Yourself During Your Divorce
Now that you know why social media can be dangerous to your divorce case, you should know what you can do to protect yourself. Here are some tips to prevent social media from influencing your divorce’s outcome:
- Don’t post. If there’s no activity, there’s nothing to be used against you.
- Clean up your account. If you haven’t looked through all the things you’re tagged in and reviewed your privacy settings, it’s time to. Set restrictions on who can view your content and see things you are tagged in. You also can frequently set your account to notify you of tags or require you to approve a tag before you can be tagged in a post. You may also want to take a look through your friends list and eliminate those you don’t know well, who are your spouse’s friends and family, or may otherwise cause trouble. Finally, remove posts from your personal feed that may be compromising.
- Talk to your friends about tagging you. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still end up tagged in something you don’t want to be. Talk to your friends about skipping mentions of you until the divorce is over. If they tend to post to your wall, make sure they know what kinds of posts cross the line, and don’t be afraid to remove that joke post if needed.
- Keep your new partner under the radar. Have you fallen in love with someone new? Are you just starting to date again? Whatever the case may be—don’t share it. Ask your partner to avoid posting about you, as well.
- Consult your lawyer. Your divorce attorney’s job is to protect your best interests during your divorce, and they can help you clean up your social media accounts. If you have questions, be sure to ask your lawyer today.
Divorce is never easy, but there’s no reason to make it more difficult than it has to be. At Bundren Law Firm P.C., we’re dedicated to helping your family navigate this challenging time of your lives and protecting your rights and interests. Want to know more? Schedule a consultation with our Tulsa family law attorney today.
Contact our offices today by calling (918) 992-3300.