Social Media & Divorce
Social Media Do’s & Dont’s in a Divorce
In recent years, social media has affected marriages and divorces across the country on many levels. Whether or not your divorce was caused by social media, if you subscribe to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Myspace, or use other forms of electronic communications, you should know how to conduct yourself during the divorce process.
As the founder of Charles E. Willmott, P.A., I have nearly 30 years of experience handling collaborative and uncontested divorce cases. I am a Board Certified divorce attorney and well-aware of how social media outlets can lead to and impact divorce proceedings.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Divorce Case
We cannot ignore the fact that Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social networking websites have become key components in how we interact in today's culture. When something happens to us, we want our friends to know about it. We share what happens in our careers, we share photos when we travel, and we share triumphs, tragedies, laughs and tears, and a plethora of pictures.
When one is getting a divorce, they often post updates and pics without thinking about the consequences. You have to remember that not every friend is a "friend," and not every connection is an ally. Sometimes an email, message or text that you thought was private, is anything but.
In general, married couples have dozens of mutual friends and connections. When a marriage breaks up, some of these people side with one spouse over the other. Divorcing couples can easily obtain a steady stream of information about an estranged spouse's financial activities as it is relayed through a "mutual friend" on Facebook.
Even if your ex has blocked you from Facebook, your mutual friends can still tell you about your ex's trip to Hawaii a week after they told the court they were broke. Social media can be a sign that your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce, and sometimes emails, texts and activity on social media websites can be subpoenaed and gone through with a fine tooth comb.
Prudent Advice to Someone Getting a Divorce
When getting a divorce, it is important not to put anything in an email, a text message, or online anywhere that you don't want to become public information or you don't want a judge to see or read. In the context of a divorce, if either party has shared information digitally that could contradict information they conveyed in person or in their financial documents, they can be leaving a huge trail of evidence that can be hard to explain away.
As a general rule, you want to view all electronic communications and social media activity as public and permanent. In divorce social media can provide useful information about your spouse, especially if it contradicts what he or she has said in their legal documents, but remember, your spouse is hearing the same exact thing from their divorce attorney.
If you use social media, you need to exercise caution, discretion and judgment. You may be better off if you log off of Facebook, quit Tweeting, and don't sign up for Google Plus during your divorce proceedings.
To learn more about social media and divorce, contact Charles E. Willmott, P.A. today at (904) 849-5183.