Today, social media is a way of life for most people. With over 3.6 billion users worldwide, social media has become the way many of us connect, shop, read the news, and much, much more. If you’re getting divorced, though, it’s generally best to avoid social media.
While it may seem harmless to use social media to connect during this challenging time, social media posts can work against you during divorce proceedings. Many people don’t know that social media posts are admissible as evidence in court. And that even innocuous posts can make your divorce much harder.
In this post, we’ll discuss a few of the top reasons to avoid social media during a divorce. And what you should consider doing instead.
5 Reasons to Stay Off Social During Your Divorce
While social media might not have caused your divorce, it could be a factor in it. Right now, about 16% of couples say social media is a significant cause of jealousy and friction in their relationships.
Whether you like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, here are a few reasons to steer clear of your platform of choice during your divorce proceedings:
1. Pictures speak louder than words
While you might think that posting photos on social media is an excellent way to reach out, connect, and keep your friends updated about your changing life, posting pictures on social media during a divorce is actually a big no-no.
Here’s why: even an “innocent” photo can expose information about your lifestyle. Images containing signs of alcohol or inappropriate behavior may be taken out of context. They could also give your soon-to-be-ex-spouse additional ammunition to use against you in court.
Additionally, photos can say a lot about your spending habits or expose recent purchases you don’t want your spouse to be aware of. Which, of course, your spouse can use as evidence in child support or property division arguments.
Finally, any photo that depicts a parent engaged in risky behavior around the kids could alter the judge’s judgment regarding your fitness as a parent, resulting in child custody battles from your ex.
2. Social can start a gossip chain
It’s tough to control the privacy settings on social media platforms. Even things like blocking or restricting certain social media users may not prevent your ex-spouse from seeing specific posts or hearing rumors that you’ve taken a fancy new vacation or purchased a new vehicle.
If people see these posts and report back to your ex, you may find yourself struggling to battle the rumor mill.
3. Social is a gold mine for evidence
Suppose you and your spouse are going through a contentious divorce. In that case, all of your email, text messages, Facebook messages, and public social media posts are admissible forms of evidence in court. If you share any information on these platforms that contradicts your formal agreements, it may affect your divorce settlement or land you back in court once more.
4. It could expose your new relationship
If you’ve moved on quickly, social media is a likely spot for your ex-spouse to find out about that relationship. While we recommend avoiding dating during your divorce, some people don’t heed that advice.
Unfortunately, if your spouse finds out about your new relationship, it’s likely to make your divorcee proceedings much uglier.
5. Friends can out you
Even if you’re not posting anything on social media, your friends can tag you in photos showcasing certain people or places. These posts can be equally incriminating and may expose secrets you didn’t want out. If you’re not going to avoid social media entirely, ask family and friends to avoid posting about you and make sure you’ve double-checked your privacy settings.
Avoid Social During Your Divorce
Divorce is tough, and it can be hard to be the one that takes the high road. By steering clear of social media, though, you ensure you’re not feeding material into the rumor mill and that you’re always the one who takes the high road.