Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on June 21, 2019
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If you’re getting divorced, there’s something you should know. Your social media posts matter during this critical time. In fact, be careful what you say before, after, and during the time marital dissolution represents an issue. Social media can certainly be a big factor when it comes to divorce.
In the first place, some blame technology as the source of increased divorce rates. Five years ago, the Pew Research Center published a study entitled “Couples, the Internet, and Social Media.” It seems to focus on younger couples and their interaction.
However, truth be told, Facebook and other social media sites connect people. For even long-term married couples, this could mean straying off to meet an old high school love. Or, become interested in a new romance.
The study also mentions the concept of “sexting.” In case you’re uncertain, this represents the exchange of suggestive comments and photographs of a sexual nature. No doubt this sounds like inappropriate marital conduct. And, yes, something that could lead to divorce.
In the meantime, social media proves problematic during and after your divorce. For example, take the issue of photographs. If you’re trying to make a case that you can’t afford alimony, you may want to think again.
Sharing vacation pictures to exotic places with your new eye candy may raise eyebrows. For sure, they will incur the wrath of the spouse you’ve decided to divorce. Add to that claims you want to limit your child support payments.
You might also want to reconsider posting items for sale that are actually marital property. You open yourself up to problems when it comes to the division of marital assets.
While it’s tempting to share negative information about your spouse, consider refraining from doing so. This proves sage advice for people who share children. You don’t want to face accusations that you are attempting to poison the kids. The courts frown on parental alienation when it comes to custody decisions.
Put privacy controls in place for all social media posts. Limit your “friends” to people you really trust. However, realize even your best friend in real life can turn against you.
If you need to sort out the details of your divorce, stay off public message boards. Speak to an experienced family law attorney. Sit down with a therapist or counselor if necessary.
Divorce doesn’t need to be ugly. However, it can be. Protect yourself, your family and your property.