There is no doubt that social media has become a major part of our lives. Most people have at least one social media account where they document the events and activities they participate in. Facebook alone has more than two billion users and is also cited in one out of every five divorces that occur in this country as it has become a conduit to discover evidence of infidelity and other bad behaviors a spouse may be engaging in.
In addition to having the potential to harm a relationship, social media posts can also be harmful while someone is going through a divorce. It is important to remember that posts, photos, and comments can be used against you by your spouse’s attorney, even affecting how child custody is decided by the court.
Ideally, you should avoid social media until your divorce is final; however, it is understandable that most people do not want to take that step. If you are going to engage in online activity, then you should be fully aware of what you are posting and cognizant of topics you should avoid altogether, including avoiding posting any details about the divorce.
For example, if you are involved in a contentious divorce, no matter how angry or frustrated you are with your spouse, do not post any disparaging remarks about them. This should also extend to posting anything negative about members of their family.
Make sure your security settings on your accounts are set at the highest privacy settings available, including preventing people from tagging you in photos and posts.
This is also a good time to “clean out” your friends list. If there are people who you will not be friends with after the divorce, delete them now. If necessary, you can also block them if you suspect they are following you to try to get information about you to pass on to your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
It is also important to realize that it is not just what you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other sites that can cause you major headaches in your divorce. Other electronic forms of communication, such as text messages and emails, can also have an impact. Any media sent from a phone can be used as evidence, just as those posted on a Facebook profile can be used as evidence. Deleting these messages does not make them disappear forever; the technology exists to retrieve deleted messages if they receive a subpoena to do so.
Whether it is on your social media, text messages, or any other electronic format., there is another critical fact that everyone going through a divorce should realize. Not only does deleting these items not make them disappear for good, but the court may consider this an act of evidence spoilation, leading to potential consequences for the party who deleted them.
If you are going through a divorce, make sure you have a dedicated Naperville, IL divorce attorney advocating for you. Call J. Aldrich Law, P.C. at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free consultation.