A quick look on Facebook or Twitter will reveal several posts that are very personal and very hateful. It's almost like The Jerry Springer Show online. During your divorce, it is imperative that you are even more careful about what you post and also what your friends are posting about you. In a burst of anger, you may want to post some derogative remarks about your soon-to-be ex, in part because you want him to get what's coming to him. You may find it difficult to maintain peace during divorce. You may also feel vindicated if other people see him for what he is. However, this might backfire on you.
Here are 3 ways that social media can hurt you during your divorce.
1) Social Media can hurt your divorce settlement.
Be careful of what you post. First and foremost, anything you post is admissible in court. Even if you delete something, the court can still get an order to retrieve it and use it against you. In an interview with Victor A. Garnice, divorce attorney from Scottsdale Arizona, he states, "Don't make any electronic communications that you would not want the judge to see at your trial." Even simple posts may be used. For example, if you tell the court that you are disabled, and someone posts a picture of you out dancing, this could harm your reputation. If he tells the courts that you are squandering money, he might use posts of you dining out at 5-star restaurants all of the time to back up his claims. A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that 80-percent of divorce lawyers see an increase in social media evidence in the court rooms.
2) Social Media can affect your custody agreement.
Sadly, even a seemingly relative harmless photo could put you in the doghouse as far as the courts are concerned. Putting a post on Facebook asking if anyone has diapers or formula because you've ran out, could be used against you to prove that you are a neglectful parent. Such as posts of your children with your new boyfriend or a picture of you holding a drink in your hand with your child in the background. Posts stating that you are out partying when it was your weekend with the kids can also be problematic. Remember it's not just your posts that can endanger your case. Be sure to tell your family and friends not to tag you in any post that might be questionable. Courts also look disapprovingly at parents that post derogatory or accusatory remarks online about the other parent.
3) Social Media can have legal ramifications.
Stay away from your ex's profile. If you have access to his passwords, know that using his profile could cause serious legal ramification on your part. I know of a woman, Ruby, who was so angry when she found pictures of John and another woman, that she went into his profile and posted them online for the world to see. She wound up spending time in jail. Also, reading what your ex is doing all of the time will probably just fuel your anger and despair. This might lead you to do something that you would not ordinarily do. If you think that he is hiding something, have a trusted friend or your attorney look at his posts to see if he has left any evidence. Staying away from your ex's social media accounts will help you to think clearly and to focus on what is really important to you and your future.
Many divorce attorneys advise their attorneys to stay away from social media if at all possible. There is just too much of a possibility of something being posted that can harm your case. If it damages your case, you could be paying a dear price for the rest of your life. Think twice before you hit submit — be it a Facebook post, Tweet, email or text. Ask yourself, "Can what I am saying come back to bite me in the butt in any way shape or form?
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