Cautions of Social Media Use During Divorce in California
Social media continues to gain popularity to the extent that almost everyone has at least one account, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the like. Those who regularly use social media sometimes post regularly about varying subjects and often use social media as a way to connect with family and friends, especially those who don’t live close by.
Social media also provides an easy way for your networks to learn about your hobbies, spending habits, your schedule, and any other information that you post. This type of information can muddy your divorce negotiations, especially when children are involved. The other side will be looking for any and all information they can to use against you.
The best choice you can make is to deactivate your accounts or refrain from posting while you are going through a divorce. However, some simply do not want to part with social media because it’s the primary method they use to keep in touch with family, close friends, and colleagues. If you choose to remain active on social media during your divorce, you need to be cautious. Below we offer some tips on social media use to ensure your activity doesn’t negatively impact your divorce negotiations.
Don’t Post Pictures or Comments that Suggest You Are Rolling in Dough
Part of the divorce process is making full financial disclosure. Comments, posts, and photos can present a picture contrary to your actual situation and interfere with the process. Sharing photos of expensive items, tagging a photo at an expensive restaurant, and sharing information about any weekend getaways or vacations suggest you have no financial difficulties. Your spouse’s lawyer and the court can use this information to adjust spousal support payments on either side.
If you own a business, you should also refrain from posting marketing pieces that showcase the value of your business. Those involved might question whether you’ve disclosed the true value of your business. You might think the information you post on social media is harmless, but when your posts differ from the information you’ve exchanged, it can destroy trust and make negotiations more difficult. Your posts don’t even need to differ from your financial closures, but if the other side perceives differences, you can expect difficulty with negotiations.
Don’t Post Pictures or Comments About New Relationships
It’s best to keep new relationships under wraps until your divorce is final, especially if children are involved. Avoid posting pictures or making comments about a new relationship. Pictures of you and a new partner can create stress for your ex and impact the dynamics of custody negotiations. Divorces incite raw emotions which can escalate when your partner sees photos of you and a new significant other. This is especially true if you haven’t been able to discuss and agree on how you want to introduce new relationships to your children. If you haven’t been struggling with a parenting plan, introducing new relationships on social media can create a dispute. If your social media posts indicate your children are spending time with your new love interest, you can expect the other side to dig deep into that relationship and your new interest’s past. New relationships too soon can also confuse young children.
Don’t Make Negative Comments About Your Soon-to-be Ex
In the midst of a messy divorce, you might feel the need to vent, yell, complain, and say awful things about your spouse. Avoid making these types of comments on social media. Although you might think your comments are innocent, they can create difficulties in negotiations. Saying negative things about your soon-to-be-ex can also negatively affect your children if your comments get back to them. It’s best to keep your cool and share your negative thoughts and feelings with your closest confidants or a therapist.
Screen Your Friends and Followers
Each person handles his or her social media accounts differently. Some want as many friends or followers as possible regardless of whether they have met them in person. Others keep their social media networks smaller and only include those close to them. Regardless of the number of followers and friends you have, remember that your connections have access to personal information.
Diligently screen your friends and followers and don’t just let anyone follow you on social media. Also, adjust your security settings so you know exactly who can and cannot see your posts and other information. Similarly, make sure others cannot share your posts. You should also pay attention to the things others post. Even if you limit your own posts, well-meaning friends and family can tag you in photos or posts and provide information you don’t want floating around, especially as you’re going through a divorce.
Avoid Spending Too Much Time Online
Going through a divorce is a difficult and heart-wrenching process for many. It is difficult for some to keep their distance from their spouse, especially if they weren’t the ones who initiated the divorce. Viewing a spouse’s social media can help some continue to feel connected. In fact, this is a false sense of connection, and spending too much time viewing a spouse’s social media accounts can lead to additional stress and emotional trauma. Regardless of how often you use social media or the manner in which you use it, you need to remain aware of your online presence and take measures to avoid creating additional issues related to the divorce process.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
If you are going through a divorce, you want it to go as smoothly as possible for your benefit and the benefit of any children. Avoiding common pitfalls of using social media during your divorce can help eliminate potential issues about finances, new relationships, and custody. In addition to being overly cautious about using social media, contact an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the process, and handle negotiations. Contact Pedrick Law Office today online or at 818-325-3934 to discuss your divorce and develop the best strategy going forward.