When people experience something frustrating or intense, their first reaction may be to turn to social media. They can connect with their closest friends and loved ones very quickly through a post instead of contacting each person individually.
What was once a niche way for young adults to waste a little time has become part of everyday life and a main form of communication. Roughly 72% of people in the United States use some form of social media regularly. Obviously, with roughly three-quarters of people using social media, most people expect their social networks to offer them guidance and support when they face major challenges, like an upcoming divorce. Yet, despite what people might think when reacting emotionally to a divorce, sharing concerns about this experience on social media can be a very dangerous choice.
What people say online can become evidence in court
Whether someone posts a laundry list of complaints about their spouse or content trying to imply that they are happier now that they have separated or filed for divorce, what they share online could become evidence in their divorce hearing.
Both spouses potentially have the right to seek discovery access to the other’s social media content. Formal discovery would give people access even to private and deleted content. Often, spouses and lawyers don’t need to go that far to gather damaging evidence. Publicly-shared posts and comments can be enough to show that someone cheated or wasted marital assets. Even what people try to limit to those that they trust could end up captured through screenshots and sent on to a spouse or other people.
Taking a break is often the best option
People should operate under the assumption that anything they share on social media could end up presented to the courts or leverage during negotiations regarding a divorce. What people share online can impact property division or even custody matters if the courts believe that they are unstable or unsafe around the children. Ultimately, there are other resources available for those who need support and guidance during a divorce. There are in-person support groups, specialized counselors and other resources that may help people manage the stress and frustration that comes with the end of a marriage.
Understanding how dangerous social media can be during a divorce may help people avoid one of the more common modern mistakes related to family law matters. Those who have questions about how their everyday actions could impact a divorce case can seek legal guidance at any time.