Most people don’t realize the impact of social media during divorce proceedings. You might think posting about what’s happening won’t affect the outcome, but your spouse’s attorney could use digital evidence against you. What you post can come back to haunt you later if negotiations become contentious and the court needs to step in to resolve the dispute.
Although social media is a popular way of sharing details with others about your life, you should avoid posting to your online accounts while your divorce is pending. It’s okay to keep in touch with family and friends but try to keep your interactions offline. A seemingly innocent update about your life could turn into the ammunition your spouse needs to take away your kids or keep the marital home.
Digital Evidence Admissible During Divorce
You might think your spouse can’t use your posts to boost their case against you during the divorce. Even if you delete a previous post, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone. Your spouse or another person could have printed out the post or taken a screenshot. Someone might always be watching your online activity to gather information about your whereabouts and daily life.
You should proceed with extreme caution anytime you log onto your social media accounts, send an email, or share details of your divorce publicly. Digital evidence isn’t limited to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Your text messages could become valuable proof your spouse needs to show you’re not a fit parent or had an affair during the marriage.
Common types of digital evidence the court will accept during divorce proceedings in North Carolina include:
- Posts on social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat
- Online dating profiles created and used while married and before finalizing the divorce
- Text messages, emails, and other digital forms of messaging
How Your Posts Could Turn an Amicable Divorce into a Courtroom Battle
Some people can reach an amicable agreement while negotiating the terms of their divorce. Although you might think you settled all necessary matters, you should continue to avoid digital communications and social media platforms until you finalize your divorce.
A friendly arrangement can quickly become a contentious fight if evidence of damaging behavior comes to light. Social media could portray you as petty or dishonest. Common examples include:
- Someone going through a divorce might get back on the dating scene to meet new people. If you meet someone you’re excited about and post a photo of the two of you at dinner, your spouse might assume you had an affair. Even though state law doesn’t prohibit dating during a separation, it could work against you during a divorce. Your spouse could accuse you of adultery and use the digital evidence to recover more of the marital property or obtain custody of your children.
- Anyone can take screenshots or print posts other people share online. If you disparage your spouse on social media, they might bring up an issue you thought you already settled. They could reject the agreement you already made and try to negotiate for different terms.
Avoiding unnecessary delays and disputes during a divorce might be a couple’s initial goal. However, legal proceedings can bring out anyone’s worse qualities. Your best option is to avoid all forms of digital communication and social sharing if you don’t want your spouse to use your posts and words against you.
Impact of Social Media on Your Finances
If you’re like most people, it’s natural to talk about your personal and professional life online. You might not think about the ramifications of using your social media platforms to discuss your recent vacation, a promotion at work, or personal injury settlement.
Unfortunately, a boost to your finances could allow your spouse to come after you for alimony, child support, assets, and other financial benefits. Common examples of how talking about circumstances involving an economic element can affect divorce proceedings include:
- Even the most straightforward and amicable divorces are overwhelming. It’s the end of a marriage and what you thought would be your happily ever after. You might decide to take a trip to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, your spouse, a family member, or a mutual friend could see pictures you post on vacation and question where you got the money to pay for it.
- When you started the divorce process, you might have told your spouse you don’t have the income to support yourself or your kids. After negotiating the terms of child support, you finally reached an agreement. However, before finalizing the paperwork for property division, alimony, or child custody, your spouse discovers you spent significant money on some frivolous things. Sharing details of your active social life and expensive purchases can seem like you’re not struggling financially.
If you’re thinking about filing or are currently going through a divorce, do not hesitate to contact Marshall & Taylor PLLC. One of our trusted and dedicated Raleigh divorce lawyers can meet with you for a confidential consultation to discuss how we can help.
Call us at (919) 833-1040 today. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you.