Could Facebook Hurt Your Divorce?

facebook, Aurora divorce attorneyMost of us think nothing of posting a funny story, sharing some family photos or liking someone’s status on social media. Nearly 60 percent of Americans are on Facebook, and staying connected to family and friends via the internet has become second nature.  However, what you post on social media sites like Facebook may affect your divorce case more than you would think.

Online Privacy

Although Facebook does have privacy features such as the ability to block someone from seeing your posts, a divorce is a tricky situation when it comes to social media. If a person is or used to be married, chances are that they and their spouse have many mutual friends on these websites. They might be a part of the same groups or organizations.  It is very easy for a party to use these privacy loopholes to spy on the other spouse’s behavior.

For example, if you are unable to pay child support or spousal support payments but post vacation pictures online, your spouse can use this information against you in court. You may also be tempted to vent or share your frustrations about a spouse on social media. These rants, taken out of context, may paint a picture of you or your character that is inaccurate.

Other Considerations

Some divorces are actually caused partially by Facebook and other social media networks. Perhaps one of the spouses has reconnected with an old flame via Facebook messenger or is using the website to hide an affair. In some cases, pictures and posts from others may be evidence of adultery. Even if neither spouse has done anything to hide, it can sometimes be smart to keep details of your life private while going through a divorce.

The following are some guidelines to responsible social media usage during a divorce:

  • Refrain from complaining about your spouse or sharing personal information about them
  • Review your privacy features to make sure you know who can see your posts
  • Enable “Timeline Review” on your Facebook account so that you can control posts and pictures in which you have been tagged;
  • Avoid “vague-booking,” or making passive-aggressive posts that make reference to the actions or intentions of others; and
  • Assume that anything you post to social media will, at some point, be presented as evidence in court, and act accordingly.

Seek Legal Guidance

If you are in the midst of a divorce and would like to speak to a legal professional about developing a strategy for managing your social media use, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today.

 

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/01/09/pew-survey-social-media-facebook-linkedin-twitter-instagram-pinterest/21461381/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/08/20/how-social-media-can-affect-your-divorce/

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