Social media can be a source of fun and enjoyment for many couples, but once you decide to divorce, it can quickly become a source of stress and trouble. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used as a tool that keeps you in contact with your children and friends during the trying days of your separation. It can also be a source of evidence and temptations that could derail your divorce. Everything from the pictures you share to the comments you post online can become a social media mining ground for those seeking insight and evidence of your character. Social media posts can be especially important if you are trying to finalize your divorce or settle your custody arrangement.
3 Ways Social Media Can Complicate Your Divorce
- Financial Complications: You will be asked to fully disclose your financial situation when you begin divorce proceedings. Financial disclosures are necessary so you can begin the process of dividing assets amassed during your marriage. Your financial disclosure must be complete and accurate, and it's illegal to hide assets. Your estranged spouse and their legal team can use information posted to your social media accounts as evidence if your lifestyle on paper doesn't match your visual lifestyle. Investigators can also use social media to find out if you are employed or have changed jobs using sites like LinkedIn. These financial issues can derail your divorce if evidence is found online that suggests you've been hiding assets or lying about employment.
- Infidelity Complications: While most states are no-fault divorce states, Pennsylvania allows couples to seek fault in their divorce claims while still being a no-fault state. If you're moving on and dating during your separation, you should be careful that it doesn't appear that your relationship started before your separation. It may also derail your divorce if you decide to join a dating website, too. If your spouse files for and can prove fault in your divorce, they could be given a faster divorce and even qualify for spousal support.
- Custody Complications: Posting pictures or comments about your party life can be taken out of context and cause problems during your divorce proceedings. Social media posts about your social life and friends can be used to paint a picture of you as a danger to your children. It can also be used to show neglect or disinterest in parenting. If you have visitation with your kids but instead leave them with a babysitter while you go out on a date, you could find yourself being forced to explain your actions. Don't risk having to defend an easily misconstrued post.
Responsible Social Media Usage
If you can handle shutting your social media pages down until your divorce is finalized, you may want to consider it. Even seemingly innocuous posts could come back to haunt you if they are in any way associated with your divorce or your estranged spouse. It's not always feasible to close or suspend your social media pages, but it's important to avoid posting about your divorce, children, or sensitive financial issues.
You can avoid trouble with your social media accounts by:
- Setting your pages to private
- Unfriending or removing your spouse and their family's access to your pages
- Refrain from posting about your minor children or your divorce
- Not defaming or speaking poorly about your estranged spouse
Even if you think you've been wronged and everyone in your life universally dislikes your spouse, it's not worth outing them for their wrongs on your social media pages. It may feel good initially, but it can come back to haunt you as you finalize your divorce. The lawyers at William Kirby Law are thorough legal representatives who understand how to navigate divorce and help you avoid the pitfalls that can stall your case. Call now at (215) 515-9901 to schedule a consultation.