Divorce in the online world: How social media might affect your future

| Jun 28, 2019 | Divorce

Now, more than ever, lives are filled with an enormous amount of moving parts. From changing jobs to relocating across the nation, it can be a challenge to stay in contact with friends and family. The online world has evolved to help people stay in touch as those moving parts continue to change. From photo-sharing sites to professional networking sites, individuals and families alike have grown accustomed to uploading personal experiences on the Internet.

But, what happens when a relationship sours?

Part of the problem is that people have conditioned themselves to share everything on social media. A promotion, a demotion, a road rage incident, a rude cashier – nothing is beyond the boundaries of online communication. Unfortunately, this can spill into scenarios that might ultimately negatively impact your future.

A divorce, as well as the time-period leading up to it, can be a very emotional, highly volatile time. Posting disparaging remarks, unflattering images or negative personal stories aimed at casting your partner in a negative light, can backfire and become ammunition for opposing counsel.

Don’t use online forums to fight with your ex

Not only is it tough on the children to have familial “dirty laundry” aired in a public arena, but these arguments can directly lead to changes in custody or support agreements. Online vitriol focused on your former spouse’s new job, new apartment, large purchase, or a rumored romantic relationship can lead to a vicious-back-and-forth that might ultimately catch the attention of the lawyers involved in your case. Public statements such as these can lead to the questioning of your character and, ultimately, your ability to raise your children in an objective environment.

You might be shaking your head in disbelief, but it’s true. There are numerous examples across the nation of social media posts backfiring.

  • The man who posted an online profile to a dating site stating that he was single and without children when, in fact, he was married with two sons. After the divorce, the man ended up with limited visitation.
  • The woman who bragged about the purchase of a sports car during her separation that directly impacted her spousal support determination.
  • The man who posted inappropriate photos taken during a recent vacation in an effort to sully his wife’s reputation only served to turn the divorce mediation in her favor.

And so on.

The list is immeasurable. The best you can do is keep quiet. It might be difficult but remain polite on all social media platforms. Discuss your situation with an experienced divorce lawyer and stay professional on the subject of your partner and soon-to-be ex. It might be hard to do, but you will benefit in the long run.

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