Social Media During and After Divorce
Escondido, CA – With social media now a regular part of most people’s lives, it may not be obvious of the impact a simple post to Facebook can have on a divorce trial.
Divorce Attorney John Griffith explains, “Nowadays, we’re seeing more and more divorce cases that use social media posts in court. Since these posts are usually considered admissible evidence, they can affect everything from child support and alimony payments to child custody and visitation rights.”
Post with Caution
In the months leading up to divorce, many often feel bitter or resentful toward their future ex-spouse. This can manifest itself in many ways, including a quick angry tweet on Twitter or an angry Facebook message.
“Be careful, though,” advises Griffith. “Any and every word you write online could potentially be used against you in the courtroom. It’s wise to find a more private way to vent your frustrations while your divorce is still pending.”
Basic Rules of Thumb for Social Media During a Divorce
While it might seem obvious, it’s best for people divorcing to remember that there can be ramifications for their social media posts. Here are ways to avoid negative outcomes:
- Remember that everything is essentially permanent online. Just because a message or post has been deleted by one party doesn’t mean it’s gone. Anyone can take a quick screenshot on their phone or computer, thus having access to online content at any time. Contemporary advice is thus: Consider anything posted online to be permanent and public.
- Blocking an ex isn’t enough. Many people feel blocking their exes on social media is sufficient when it comes to protecting their virtual lives. However, mutual friends may take sides and can still see posts from both parties. Moreover, these shared connections can post on each party’s behalf. For example, if one spouse is fighting for child custody, but friends’ posts point to a party the weekend the spouse should’ve had the children, that can lead the judge to see signs of neglect.
- Watch text messages, too. Just because it hasn’t been publicly shared doesn’t mean it won’t be. Even texts, emails, Facebook messages, or Snapchat can be saved and shared, rendering it no longer private at all. Anything written and sent could ultimately be seen by a judge.
- Don’t boast during the divorce process. If one spouse is saying in court that he can’t make child support payments, yet posts pictures of a new car or boat, this could have adverse effects on the divorce’s outcome.
After the Divorce
Once the divorce is finalized, it’s much safer to post on social media. However, people in general should be aware that anything and everything online is essentially eternal.
If you’re going through a divorce and would like expert help, schedule a free consultation with John Griffith or one of his outstanding team members at Griffith, Young, and Lass.
About us: We at Griffith, Young, and Lass pride ourselves on providing excellent counsel in the realm of family and divorce law. We will work with you to successfully resolve your case with the utmost of professionalism.
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