Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. It enables individuals to share news of their children’s milestones, their professional accomplishments, family trips, and gatherings with friends. This enables us to feel connected, especially if going through a challenging time. However, those who file for divorce need to be very careful about what they do, say and post online.
Be careful with those accounts
The courts will freeze on large or out of the ordinary financial transactions during divorce proceedings, and spouses should consider doing the same with their social media accounts. Common examples of missteps that can lead to unintended consequences include:
- Dating app profiles: It is standard procedure for attorneys on the other side to check for these. New ones or ones that started during the marriage can lead to complex questions.
- Nights out: This may have been common before filing, but attorneys will scrutinize these photos, looking for details like alcohol abuse that can lead to questions about a spouse or parent’s character.
- Fancy trips: Visiting family or taking the kids upstate to stay at a cottage is fine, but spouses unhappy about the division of assets should not share photos of vacations not involving other family members around this time.
- Announcement photos: Perhaps the marriage has been over for years, but it is best to refrain from announcing until after the divorce is final. Spouses should also avoid badmouthing their partner as the attorneys on the other side can use their words against them.
Why is this so important?
One may be excited to reenter the singles scene or get out of a dysfunctional marriage. Still, attorneys in the discovery process will scrutinize these images and the behavior it captures to substantiate arguments alleging chemical abuse, mental health issues, lavish spending, or a lifestyle that makes the parent unsuitable for custody or a balanced parenting agreement.
It is not too late
Perhaps there has been a misstep or two already. It is best for the client to discuss the specific issue with their attorney before they find it out from the spouse’s lawyer. Attorneys will tailor their approach to fit the client’s needs, so sharing this information enables them to better plan for a potential issue and determine a strategic solution.