THE RULES FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA DURING YOUR DIVORCE
WHEN YOU’RE GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE, IT PAYS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Many Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users happily post anything and everything on the web. Whether it be an update on their social life or a photo of their afternoon beer, you’ll probably read or see about it on social media. Although social media can be a great thing for many people, when you’re in the middle of a divorce, you need to be careful about what you say and do on these platforms. In our previous post, our family law attorney in Fort Collins went over a few of the ways that posting on social media could hurt you during your divorce. What you post on social media could have serious consequences in your divorce, so you’re better off ditching it all together during the proceedings, but if you must use social media, you need to know how to do so wisely. Here are a few tips to help you be smart about using social media during your divorce:
#1. REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR SECURITY AND PRIVACY SETTINGS.
Regardless of whether you feel you have something to hide or not, it’s much safer to have your social media accounts set to private instead of public. It’s also a wise choice to turn off the location settings on your accounts so that your friends can’t “check-in” with you in certain locations that may look bad during your divorce. However, even if you set your accounts to private, what you post could still be scrutinized, so don’t let your privacy setting lure you into a false sense of security.
#2. BE CAREFUL ABOUT USING SNAPCHAT AND TWITTER.
Twitter and Snapchat are the ultimate, in-the-moment social media platforms because people often post what they think or feel in the moment without second guessing it. Investigators have software that allows messages and photos to be found that you have supposedly “deleted,” so you’re better off avoiding these platforms as much as possible.
#3. DON’T FRIEND ANYONE YOU DON’T KNOW.
Even if you set your profile to private on Facebook, your “friends” can all still see your photos, posts and all of your activity. While you’re in the midst of a divorce, be very careful about who you accept friend requests from. In the past, some divorcing parties have set up fake profiles so that they can view their ex’s photos and posts. This may also be a good time to look through your friend’s list and unfriend anyone who may be more loyal to your spouse than they are to you.
#4. DON’T COMPLAIN OR BADMOUTH YOUR EX.
You should never badmouth or complain about your ex on social media. Sure, you may score some sympathy points with your friends or relatives, but when you complain about your ex on social media, you’ll only make yourself look bad to the judge. Plus, if you are posting things on social media about your ex that aren’t true, you could end up with a libel suit on your hands.
#5. DON’T TRY TO SNOOP ON YOUR EX’S ACCOUNT.
In most cases, the court will prohibit divorcing spouses from getting into one another’s mail, and the same rules apply to social media accounts. Even if you know your ex’s password, never try to break into their account for any reason during your divorce. This little bit of snooping may have been acceptable when you were married, but now that you are going through a divorce, you could face criminal or civil charges for breaking into his or her accounts.
#6. DISABLE OR DELETE YOUR LINKEDIN ACCOUNT.
No one is badmouthing their ex or posting pictures of their bar-hopping adventures on LinkedIn, but it could still hurt you during your divorce in other ways. For example, if you overstate your earning ability, employment or educational history on LinkedIn, it could affect many aspects of your divorce settlement, including alimony and child support payments.
Although these are general rules for what to do and what not to do on social media during your divorce, it’s always a good idea to turn to an experienced attorney about your specific situation. If you have any questions or concerns about using social media during your divorce, please contact us at Vahrenwald, McMahill, Massey & Mitchell, LLC.