When going through a divorce, social media might seem like a person's best friend. Social media can be used as a way to re-connect with friends that you didn't talk to during your marriage a way to prove to nosy people that you are doing just fine, or just as an outlet to talk to the world.
While these uses can help you get through your divorce, they could come back to bite you in court. Family law attorneys are frequently using social media evidence as proof in divorce, child custody, support, and domestic violence cases. Posts found on your social media accounts can be used as proof of your state of mind, proof of communication and time spent with particular people, proof of spending income, evidence of time and place of certain actions, and various other things. While you might think these posts are harmless, even the most simple post can go a long way to dismantling your legal arguments.
For one example, in order to request more time to look for a job before altering a spousal support arrangement, you might tell the court that you have been extremely depressed since your spouse filed for divorce and you recently hurt your back while taking care of your children. However, if you posted a picture on social media two days ago of you smiling with friends at a volunteer event with a heavy box in your hands, this post could be used to show that you are happy and able to work.
While you might be able to explain away your social media posts, it might be best to not put yourself in these positions in the first place. Be careful what you are posting on social media when you are going through a divorce and consider deactivating your accounts until everything is finalized. It might seem extreme, but your social media posts provide clues into what you are doing with your life and how you are spending your time, and those little clues could be enough to put you in some real hot water.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS