Social media can influence public opinion and potentially start rumors. Especially in a scenario wherein you want to file for divorce because of something inappropriate your spouse has done, the idea of declaring their misconduct on social media for everyone to see can be very cathartic.
However, how you use social media can have a profound impact on your upcoming divorce proceedings. The things that you say online can potentially affect everything from property division matters to co-parenting arrangements. Anything you say online, from a joke to a picture posted without any commentary, could end up influencing how the courts perceive your marriage and you as an individual.
How should you handle your social media accounts during a divorce?
Take a hiatus from online socialization
Unless you absolutely need to engage with others online as part of your career, this might be a good time to take a break from social media. After all, social media has a tendency to exacerbate existing mental health issues.
Additionally, you never know what kind of activity you might see from your spouse, possibly including posts about their new relationship. Determining that you need a break from social media during your divorce can be beneficial for you in the long run.
Review and lock down your account
You may want to check your privacy settings so that anything you post is not available to the public. Changing the privacy settings of older posts is often a smart decision too. You may need to remove some friends from your list to avoid conflict.
Avoid placing blame
If you do share anything online, it is usually better to avoid any discussion of the divorce. Making public statements about your spouse’s behavior could be particularly dangerous. You don’t necessarily have to post something publicly for it to end up in the hands of your spouse or their lawyer.
People can take screenshots of private messages or semi-private posts, and anything you say online could affect your case in court. Allegations of defamation can quickly complicate divorce proceedings and custody matters, as they may make a judge worry about the possibility of parental alienation.
In-person support groups or counseling sessions typically have better privacy protections than any online support group. You can find space to work through your trauma from your marriage without doing so in a public forum that could affect your divorce proceedings.
Social media can be a source of evidence during divorce proceedings. However, the more you dig into your spouse’s online history, the more likely your own social media history is to undergo serious scrutiny.
Understanding how social media could affect the outcome of your divorce might help you make better choices about your digital presence.