Social media is the new way of providing a chronological glimpse into large and small life events, as well as the ups and downs of our lives. However, if you are going through a divorce, your Cerritos family law attorney will be the first one to caution you about the information you post on social media sites.
For most people, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are an integral part of their daily lives. These sites are used to make birth announcements, showcase graduation photos, and document wedding celebrations. When emergencies strike, the sites are used to rally up help, spread information, and convey positive wishes for safety and health.
Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media
You definitely want the world to celebrate with you when welcoming a newborn into the world or when a family member graduates from high school. However, there are some life events that are better off not broadcast on social media. Not everyone deserves to know every little detail about your life. For example, the details of your divorce are not something you should share with your Facebook friends.
Social media sites are great for catching up with the latest politician, celebrity gossip, and local events. However, when it comes to discussing people that are or were close to you, i.e., your ex, what you post can come back to haunt you.
When using social media, one thing you should remember is this: the internet never forgets.
Even if you delete what you have posted, chances are that it is not entirely deleted online. The moment you post something on social media, the information can be copied by hundreds of sites, some of which you have no control of.
And if the information you posted was malicious or damaging, you may be left with legal problems to deal with.
How Using Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce Case in California
The use of social media has become a huge issue in recent divorce cases in California. The National Law Review has some telling statistics:
- 33% of all divorce actions are fueled by online affairs
- 66% of divorce attorneys use Facebook to gather evidence for their cases
- 81% of all divorce lawyers have presented information gathered from social media sites as evidence in the courts
Most attorneys use social media information to prove financial misconduct or infidelity.
If you are going through a divorce, it is important to know how to protect yourself. One of the ways is by being careful with the information that you post on your social media accounts.
Below are some social media habits you want to avoid during your divorce:
1. Deleting Social Media Activity that Could Be Used Against You in Court
Is there any information on your social media accounts that can be used against you in a court of law? If there is, don’t delete it. Deleting information can come back to haunt you during the proceedings.
Remember, any information that you post online can be dug up by experienced computer forensic scientists. When the information is dug up, you may be charged with an attempt to destroy evidence. The action may also be taken as an admission of guilt.
If the information is already there, let it be. However, do not add fuel to the fire by posting more information that can hurt your prospects of getting the outcome you want in a divorce case.
2. Posting Photographs or Mentioning the Use of Alcohol or Drugs
If there is contention regarding child custody during the divorce proceedings, you want all your actions to indicate that you are a good parent. Therefore, anything related to the use of alcohol or drugs should not be present in your life. This includes posting any photos or information about using drugs or alcohol on social media websites.
Yes, you can partake in fun activities. But you do not want any evidence that can harm your prospects of winning custody to crop up. Therefore, avoid taking and posting photographs with alcohol, even if you were just casually drinking with a friend.
3. Discussing New Romantic Relationships
Yes, you may want everyone to know that you have moved on and are happy with the new love of your life. However, keep this information private until after the divorce has been finalized. Even if the relationship did not begin before the divorce proceedings, it could be deemed as an affair.
Keep information about your new love interests to yourself until when the divorce papers have been signed.
4. Discussing New Purchases of Financial Information
Did your company just sign some new clients and you got a substantial raise in income? Keep that information to yourself. When it comes to money matters, do not broadcast your spending or other financial information on social media as it can be used against you.
For example, by showing you have a lot of money, the attorneys of your ex can use the information to justify demanding high child support or alimony payments. If you are the one demanding child support, making expensive purchases may be taken to show that you are well off and, therefore, do not need a lot of support from your ex.
5. Allowing Your Friends to Post Details of Your Life
When going through a divorce, you can find comfort in your friends. However, some friends can actually damage the outcome of the divorce case through no fault of their own. For example, when friends criticize your ex or post details about your life, the information can be used against you in court.
Therefore, while you should appreciate the support that your friends may be giving you, it’s important to caution them against posting information about the case online. Find out from your attorney what kind of information should not be shared online to ensure you have a strong case.
6. Sharing Your Location Information
Have you noticed that you can almost always tell where some people are based on what locations they check-in to on their social media accounts? You may want to let everyone know that you’ve checked in at the hottest new club. However, sharing the information can be damaging if you are going through a divorce.
For example, sharing the amount of time that you spend in casinos, strip clubs, and bars can be used against you, especially if the divorce involves custody disputes.
How to Use Social Media During a Divorce
The best way of using social media during a divorce is to avoid using it at all. Sites like Facebook have an option of temporarily deactivating your account until a later time.
If you can’t see yourself living without social media, then think carefully before posting any information. Remember, whatever you post can be used against you in court.