Although many people understand that divorce is difficult, few have a complete picture of how complicated these negotiations can be. Factors that you have never considered can become contentious parts of the divorce process and even impact the outcome. Social media is one of these factors, and it can do a significant amount of damage to your case.
It is critical to understand the potential impact that social media can have on your divorce process. You can then make more empowered decisions about your online presence as well as your divorce. A few minor changes made online can have a significant impact on your case.
Income and Asset Disclosure
One of the most prominent ways that social media can affect your divorce is through asset and income disclosure. During the divorce process, you must disclose all your assets, including savings and checking accounts, to the court. The divorce process will divide all assets and distribute approximately half to each spouse. Hiding assets to retain more money is illegal and can get you into significant trouble.
Even if you have disclosed all your assets, social media can confuse the situation. Suppose you post photos of yourself eating lavish meals, taking expensive vacations, or purchasing expensive items. Your spouse’s attorney may interpret this as evidence that you have more than you disclosed. Even if this is not the reality, the court will have to investigate, which can ultimately cost you more in legal fees and fines.
If you have children with your spouse, you will determine child custody during the divorce process. If your child’s other parent wants custody, they may use social media posts to insinuate that you are an unfit parent. Photos including alcohol, drugs, parties, or similar behavior can be incriminating, even if you are a responsible parent when your children are around. These kinds of posts can ruin your argument, and it is important to be careful.
Some divorces warrant spousal support, or alimony, to be paid from one spouse to another. If you are receiving spousal support, it may have a deadline or it may be ongoing. Regardless of the type, your spousal support will end when you move in with a new significant other.
Posting photos of your new partner, especially if it is serious, can jeopardize your eligibility for spousal support. Your ex-spouse may use these photos to argue that you have a new system of financial support and no longer require their monthly payments. With the right argument, the court may agree and take away your spousal support.
How to Navigate Social Media and Divorce
If you have social media accounts, the best thing you can do during your divorce is to deactivate them. However, this is not ideal for some people. If you must keep your accounts active, be sure that they are set to private and that you trust the people who follow you. Ask your friends and family to refrain from posting about you or sharing photos or videos of you until your divorce is finalized and the dust settles.
Be aware of anything you post and how it may appear to the court if used as evidence. A little forethought and a reduction in posts can help you preserve your divorce case. This can help give you the best possible situation for your new life.
Q: Can I Vent About My Divorce Online?
A: You should not vent about your divorce online. Posting derogatory comments about your spouse can harm your eligibility for child custody and will cause other problems throughout your divorce process. Although you may be frustrated or upset, keep your feelings off the internet. Vent to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist if you need to talk about what is going on.
Q: How Can I Protect My Social Media During Divorce?
A: If you keep your social media accounts active during the divorce process, make sure all accounts are set to private. Most apps and platforms allow you to review photos and videos that you are tagged in before they appear on your profile. Turning this setting on can help you prevent any unflattering content from reaching your page. Unfriend anyone that you do not trust or know to minimize the number of people who have access to your content.
Q: What Should I Avoid Posting Online During My Divorce?
A: Avoid posting any pictures of you partying, drinking, doing drugs, or doing any illicit or illegal activities. Do not complain about parenthood or children, and do not complain about your spouse. Do not show off any expensive purchases or vacations. Refrain from sharing details of your divorce or complaining about anyone involved in the court process. If you have a new significant other, refrain from sharing information about or pictures of them until your divorce is finalized.
Q: Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
A: It is best to hire a divorce attorney to represent you during the divorce process. Although the situation can seem complicated, a divorce expert can help you navigate the issues that arise during the process. Representing yourself often leads to diminished settlements, poor child custody agreements, high child support payments, and a lack of spousal support. It is in your best interest to hire someone who can advocate for your needs. They can give you the help you need to create a foundation for your new future.
Contact Stange Law Firm in Chicago
For many years, our team has been helping clients navigate divorce. With the advent of social media, we have gained significant experience with the ways in which online platforms can damage and change divorce proceedings. If you need help or guidance in this area, our team provides expert legal advice for divorces of all kinds.
If you need support with a different family law issue, our expert attorneys can offer reliable representation. To learn more about these topics, the kinds of cases that we represent, or our expertise, please contact Stange Law Firm via our website.