Social Media and Divorce, Part 1: The Dangers

social media, In the course of a normal day, how often do you open a social media app on your smartphone to see what is happening with your friends and acquaintances? If you are like most people, there is a good chance that you log on to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest at least once a day. Among younger demographics, the likelihood is even greater. While social media sites can be fun, informative, and entertaining, they can also pose challenges to those who are going through the process of divorce. Sometimes, social media posts can even find their way into the courtroom as evidence.

The Myth of Online Privacy

Most social media sites and apps have privacy settings that allow you to control who sees what you post. It is easy to believe that by applying the right settings you are completely protected. Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple. You could, for example, set your account so that only your “friends” are able to see your posts, and, since your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is not one of your friends, you should be fine. But, what about those who are friends with both you and your estranged partner? What are the chances that they will see your posts and share them with your soon-to-be ex? No matter how strong someone’s good intentions may be, some people attracted to what they see as drama, and few things are more dramatic than a juicy divorce situation.

Context Is Everything

Perhaps the biggest danger of social media in a divorce is that your posts and photos can easily be taken completely out of context. By doing so, a truly innocuous post can be twisted to make you look bad. Assume, for example, that you are watching your favorite television program and using Twitter to share your thoughts with your friends and followers. In the course of the conversation, you post a tweet about the show’s villain saying something to the effect of “How could someone do that to their kids? I hate him so much.” In the context of live-tweeting your show, it would make perfect sense. Outside of that context and read in open court, the same words could take on a much different tone.

Assume the Judge Will See

You do not necessarily need to stay completely away from social media sites during your divorce, but you do need to be careful. The safest thing you can do is to operate on the assumption that every one of your posts, photos, and updates will be seen by your spouse and, eventually the judge. If there is any way that the post could be interpreted to cast you in a negative light, you may wish to reconsider posting it.

At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand that divorce is difficult and that social media can offer a bit of an escape from a tough situation. Contact an experienced Aurora divorce attorney today to discuss a strategy for protecting yourself online throughout the process. Call [[phone]] and schedule a confidential consultation at our office.



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