If you’re one of the 240 million Americans on social media, chances are it’s a very normal part of your life. Maybe one of the first things you do when you wake up is to see if that photo you posted last night got any new likes or comments; or, maybe you pass the time by watching the latest trends on TikTok or reading the hottest takes on Twitter.
No matter how you use social media in your everyday life, things should probably change when you’re getting a divorce or thinking about a divorce. Even if you’ve had a consistent presence on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook, keeping up appearances can make things more complicated than they need to be.
Have a New Partner? Don’t Post About Them.
If you have a new partner before your divorce is final, it’s best to keep your relationship off of social media. Allegations of infidelity – whether true or not –may affect your divorce settlement.
Allegations of an Affair & Wasteful Spending
If your spouse convinces a judge that you spent marital assets on lavish vacations and expensive gifts for your new partner, the sum of those things can be removed from your portion of the marital asset division.
Such loss is referred to as wasting, which also refers to the elimination of marital assets or property for a single spouse’s benefit or to reduce the other spouse’s portion of asset division.
Your New Partner Can Have Consequences for Child Custody
Exposing your new partner’s identity online can also expose both of you to unnecessary scrutiny during child custody proceedings. If your spouse manages to see who your new partner is, they can go digging for information about them. Almost anything can be twisted into a reason why you should have less custody if you’re dating someone else, even if you haven’t yet or don’t intend to introduce your children to them.
Anything You Post Can Be Used Against You
Whether it’s text, photos, videos, or any other media, assume that your spouse will see anything you post on social media and attempt to use it against you in court. If you are in a particularly contentious divorce, taking this precautionary measure is probably more grounded in reality than you might believe. When spouses undergo a difficult divorce and either one wants to “get back” at the other, seemingly innocuous activity on social media can provide all of the fodder they need. Social media photos and posts are regularly used in court hearings.
Be Vigilant & Careful When You Use Social Media
You don’t necessarily have to abstain from social media use during your divorce, but you should try to limit or eliminate your engagement. That said, you should consult with your attorney for additional guidance – especially if you see something your spouse has posted that may be beneficial to your interests in the divorce.
For more information or to seek legal assistance, contact Melissa M. Williams today.