Social Media and Divorce. Tread Lightly

WomanWithCaption_2Our apparent appetite for online communication and its ability to impact the outcome of a divorce makes it a timely and worthwhile topic. The guidelines aren’t as common-sense as you might think, so if you or someone you know is going through a divorce, please read this or pass it on:

No. 1. You’d be amazed at what can end up on Social Media. And you don’t have to be the one to post the picture! Anyone anywhere can take a picture of you and post it online. Just ask a teenager how easy it is to find pictures of yourself doing things you wouldn’t want the court to see. If you tell your Ex you can’t take the kids this weekend, know that he/she just might find the pics that you or somebody else posted of you knocking back drinks on your weekend at the beach and use them against you in court.

No. 2. Social Media and Drinking Don’t Mix. It’s unfortunate that computers don’t come with breathalyzers. Going through a divorce is almost always an emotional ordeal, and texting or posting on social media with lowered inhibitions can lead to Ex-bashing rants, divulging financial information, revealing past behavior, and broadcasting a host of other things that can be used against you in court. Just don’t do it!

No. 3. Don’t Delete the Stupid or Emotional Stuff You Previously Posted on Social Media. You have an obligation not to hide evidence. When you post nasty things about your Ex in an emotional moment, don’t think you can take them down later and get away with it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and the court can require you to cough it up, consider it against you, and can sanction you for the destruction of evidence.

No 4. Don’t Unfriend Your Soon To Be Ex on Facebook or Other Social Media. (This is tightly linked to point No. 3.) When you “unfriend” your soon to be Ex on Facebook or prevent them from following you on twitter or whatever social media you use, you are hiding evidence. The court will require you to restore your Ex’s friend status, giving him/her access to the very information you didn’t want them to have in the first place, which they will then use against you in court.



Thinking About a Divorce? Three Things to Do in Advance


Divorce is never fun. But you can make things easier on yourself if you prepare:

Weigh the Trial of Your Case in Economic and Non-Economic Terms. Sure you want to win, but don’t let the desire to “best” your ex in a competition cloud your judgement. Remember, the romance is gone, and now it’s just a matter of money and custody. It doesn’t make sense to spend money to get what was offered to you before trial, and being stubborn can result in getting grilled by an attorney about your drug use, DUI, gambling habit or porn viewing.

Take An Inventory of Household Items. You will need to inventory the stuff that has to be divided. You also may need to prove what has been removed or destroyed. If nothing else, walk through the house with a video camera and video everything. You’ll find it helpful when you have to create the list.

Keep a Divorce Diary. Notes that you make about your Ex’s actions or failures to act at that particular time, have much more credibility in court than notes you create after the fact. Whenever your soon-to-be Ex fails to pay support, forgets to pick up the kids, does not follow existing court orders or does anything negative, write it down when it happens. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had, and if you try to write it down later, you’ll just look vindictive.