Your Social Media Presence May Cost You in the Courtroom

| Jan 5, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce presents many different challenges for couples. Those that still live together will have a hard time keeping the negotiations out of the home, while couples who separated must manage packing, moving and running a household all on their own. For many, divorce is a lonely experience that leaves people searching for support, connections and encouragement.

To help relieve loneliness, some people may turn to social media. Social media helps bring people together across great distances, allowing families to connect and share in each other’s lives online. However, it can be easy to forget that social media is a very public forum — provocative posts about your spouse may show up in the courtroom.

What you say online can have real-world consequences

If you frequently post on social media, take extra care with everything you post. The following mistakes may end up in court as evidence of fault, or worse:

  • Insulting your spouse: While an emotional rant online can help drum up a little support and blow off steam, you may end up in legal trouble if your post contained any falsehoods or exaggerations about your spouse. You may face a libel suit or a claim of unfitness as a parent.
  • Posting photos: During a tense legal battle, a night out with friends might help relieve a lot of stress. You do not have to post pictures about it, though. Your spouse may use provocative photos as evidence of a drinking problem or infidelity.
  • Posting location information: Some divorces surround accusations of abuse or threats of violence. If you fear for your safety, do not post your location online.
  • Incomplete privacy filters: You and your spouse likely share social circles, in-person and online. Separating these circles is essential to safely posting online. Though you may think a post is private, a mutual friend or overlooked family member may share it with your spouse.
  • Posting at all: You can avoid all social media mistakes by temporarily shutting your account down. You can reopen them after the negotiations conclude.

A lawyer can help protect your privacy

If you worry about problematic posts online, you can contact a local attorney familiar with California family law. An attorney can help assess your case, social media presence and draft a fair and equitable divorce resolution.