We all have an inkling of our Miranda rights, especially the overused caution: “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” The same is true for social media: anyone can use anything you share, post or say online against you. When you are going through a divorce, social media can severely impact your chances of reaching a favorable settlement.
How can social media affect your divorce?
Social media is a public platform where you can share a wide variety of multimedia – from childhood photos to inspirational quotes. Here are ways in which what you post may come back to haunt you in a divorce:
- Posting pictures with alcohol or drugs can make it appear like you have a substance abuse problem.
- Ranting or talking ill about your ex on social media can make you appear unhinged, or worse, abusive.
- Sharing photos with new romantic or platonic partners may make people think you committed adultery.
- Posting photos of extravagant trips and expensive personal belongings can make it seem like you can take on more financial responsibilities such as alimony and child support.
- Private messages are easily accessible, and the other party can take screenshots to use as evidence in court.
It does not matter if you blocked your ex on your accounts or if your settings are private. You should refrain from using social media platforms to share anything derogatory and, thus, damaging to your moral character.
What is the worst that can happen?
The evidence can affect the court’s determination of incidental matters. You may lose visitation and custodial rights to your children. The opposite party can defame you in court with a single post. Always be cautious. Assume that the other party, whether the petitioner or respondent, can access everything you put online.