Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful. Depending on the situation, you are likely dealing with issues of finances, assets, and even custody agreements. To make matters worse, your former spouse may not always be corporative.
In the digital age, it might seem easy to post a few not-so-favorable notes about your ex on your Facebook page or blog. But you should think twice. A seemingly harmless post could cost you big in divorce court. If you post something that is not true, it could even get you sued.
You can be sued for libel if you post false statements about someone and the post negatively affects the victim’s finances or causes harm to their reputation. If it can be proven that your untrue comments were harmful to the victim, you could have to pay damages.
In addition, in a divorce, judges might consider your potentially harmful – or just plain hurtful – comments on the Internet when determining child custody or awarding alimony.
But it is not just hurtful comments that can cause you problems. Basic status updates or blog posts about going on vacation or buying a new car might also cause you trouble, if you are claiming in court that you have no money. As with the pre-digital age, basically anything that reflects poorly on your moral character might have a negative impact on custody cases.
The main lesson is to keep your negative comments off the Internet all together. As long as those thoughts aren’t out there for anyone to see and use against you, you’ll be safe. Finding a good friend or family member to talk with about your divorce stress is a much safer alternative.
Source: FindLaw, “Ripping Your Ex on Facebook Can Cost You in Divorce,” Deanne Katz, September 4, 2012.
To learn more about protecting yourself after your marriage breaks up, please visit our divorce page.