For many of us, social media is a part of our everyday lives. From birthdays to graduations, vacations, and promotions, we share a lot of personal details online. Even though social media may be a part of your daily life and a means of communication with friends and family, you should be careful about how and when you use it during a divorce. In some situations, what you post online can affect aspects of your divorce proceedings. It’s not uncommon for attorneys to investigate the opposing party in a divorce by searching social media, including Facebook and Instagram.
Divorce can be complicated and using social media during the process can make things a bit more complicated. While you can continue using social media during your divorce, that use should come with extra thought and care that everything you post is likely to come before a judicial officer or at least be scrutinized by the opposing attorney.
Below are some helpful tips for using social media during your divorce.
- 1. Limit Your Use of Social Media: It’s best to limit your use of social media during a divorce. Avoid posting anything, written or otherwise, that might be used against you in court, or that could affect the outcome of your case.
- 2. Be Mindful of What You Post: If you do continue to use social media during your divorce, don’t post anything that could be used against you in court, or that could affect the outcome of your case. While adult activities – such as drinking or smoking – may be legal, you should be aware of how posts that show you doing these things in excess will appear to a judicial officer or evaluator on your case.
- 3. Keep Your Emotions in Check: Divorce is an emotional time, and social media can be a way for you to vent. However, it’s important to keep your emotions in check and avoid making any comments that could be perceived as threats or harassment.
- 4. Be Careful with Any Communication: If you have to communicate with your ex-partner, use a messaging app that is not connected to social media. This can prevent unintentional posting of any messages that could harm your case. Use courteous language whenever possible in communicating with your ex, knowing that opposing counsel and/or a judicial officer may be reviewing these communications during the pendency of your case.
- 5. Don’t Share Personal Information: Never share any personal information online, as this can be used against you in court. Do not post any photos of your finances, legal documents, or private conversations.
- 6. Do Not Discuss Your Case Online: Avoid discussing your case on social media, as this can be seen as a violation of privacy. Keep your negotiations and any agreements that you have made private.
- 7. Block and Report Harassment: If your ex-partner is harassing you on social media, block them and report their behavior to the appropriate authorities.
- 8. Do not badmouth your former spouse, the judge/court, or attorneys on social media.
- 9. Do not post or allow yourself to be tagged in inappropriate photos or posts, or posts that may appear contrary to your position taken in your case.
- 10. Change your passwords for your social media accounts, e-mails, phones, computers, iCloud storage and other electronic devices.
- 11. Monitor your children’s social media use particularly during this time; do not allow them to make posts or stories to the public regarding the case.
When it comes to social media, as with most written communication, when in doubt–leave it out.
Remember that communications to your spouse and others can be admissible in court and used against you, not only during the initial divorce proceedings but in the future as well. This includes text messages, e-mails, photos, and other forms of messaging. Anything you have published on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other online platforms can become evidence in your divorce case or can even come back in the future. Even when posts are deleted, it is almost impossible to remove them from the internet entirely.
These simple steps can make a substantial difference and help reduce conflict in your case. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate using social media and help you understand the issues it may create during your divorce or separation.
If you need the assistance of an experienced Washington family law attorney in Bellevue, we can help. We understand that divorce can be a complicated and emotional journey. Our attorneys will be with you every step of the way, helping you make the best decisions to protect your future.