We all have it and most of us use it in our daily lives: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. We post updates, pictures and often even rant about our current situation. We do so forgetting that these outlets are not just our private personal diaries, but in reality, a footprint and roadmap to our thoughts and actions that can be traced, tracked, and examined by more than just our friends and followers. Everyone going through a divorce needs to be careful and aware of how social media and divorce activity can be used against them.
Divorce lawyers and paid investigators are very efficient at utilizing every tool at their disposal to provide damaging information in order to help their client. If you are in the middle of a divorce you should keep all references about the divorce, any financial transactions, and probably most social activities out of your news feed. A negative tirade about your soon-to-be ex can be twisted or taken out of context. Bashing online can be viewed as harassment and even if no legal action can be taken, it paints you in an unfavorable light and could hurt your chances during mediation.
If you are claiming the need for spousal support then avoid tagging yourself at that weekend resort spa or on a shopping spree with friends. Even if these were gifts, it gives the impression of means and could make you appear vindictive and greedy. Maybe you are on the other side and are pleading an inability to provide a specific amount of support. If this is your position, then posting pictures of your trip to the Cayman Islands or a new car, boat, or toy is not in your best interest. Until final settlements are made, both parties should keep their spending habits very close to the chest.
Speaking of new, until the divorce is complete, never post anything about a new love interest. In addition to being in bad taste, it can also hurt your case. Proceedings can turn on a dime and foolishly jumping the gun to prove you are happy and moving on can backfire. Even if you have blocked your spouse and believe they cannot see your activities, there are ways around it. Plus, both of you have shared friends and even family. It is easy to access your page by going through a mutual online friend. In addition, alliances are not always clear and someone you believe you can trust may be helping the other side. Keep in mind also that even if your posts and pictures have been deleted, in reality, they could have been saved, forwarded or a screenshot taken before they were removed.
One other point to mention is text messages and emails. Be careful what you express in this format. Again, you might think they were deleted, but once something has entered the online realm, it is never truly gone. Retrieved copies can be submitted to an attorney or judge and become public record. Use extreme caution in discussing your divorce, any allegations or even future plans using these forms of communication. Anything that you do not want to be exposed for all involved parties to see should be kept out of all social media outlets.
These can be hard truths and may even seem unfair. Understand this is just for the short term and stay focused on securing the best outcome for your future. Be honest in your dealings and remain on top of the issues at hand. Use wisdom and discretion now and know there will be plenty of time and opportunities to post, tweet, text, and email about the next chapter of your life when it becomes a reality.