According to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), “an overwhelming 81% of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years.” (source)
This statistic is no surprise to divorce attorneys from West Palm Beach to Wellington. Divorce is usually an emotionally charged time. Add that to our tendency to air happenings, emotions, behaviors and thoughts on social media and things can get out of hand. “It is one of the first places that lawyers will go to seek out any information that contradicts a statement you already made in court,”(source) says Bari Zell Weinberger, Esquire, writer for Huffingtonpost.com. It is not the time to share issues that are contrary to your life as a husband, wife, mom or dad.
Social Media and Divorce
Sure, you could swear off all social media for the next decade or so but that is probably not realistic, Weinberger suggests the following things to keep your private life, private.
- “Think before you post.”
Hitting “send” or “post” before a message is ready for prime time can bring about expensive consequences. Imagine if someone from your spouse’s team of lawyers could see the information any time. If that move challenges your sensibilities, then rethink what it says.
- “Keep your social networking circles separate from your Ex’s.”
When you are attempting to separate one household into two, it can be challenging to know who your friends are, who affiliates with your spouse and who might travel in both camps equally. Take caution with what you say to whom. Weinberger reminds, “You never know when the emotional tides may turn and readily incriminating evidence found online can be used against you. For example, if you’re not yet divorced, avoid changing your status to ‘single’ and signing up for dating sites. While it may seem like an obvious faux pas, it happens and can be used to prove that a person was cheating, or looking to cheat, prior to divorce proceedings.”
- “Don’t reveal your location.”
“Checking in” is a hip new way of letting folks know what you are up to but doing so, along with the photos to show it off, can sometimes leave you in hot water. If you are going someplace less than desirable to your soon to be Ex that may cause arguments and frustration. To save yourself from that angst, only upload while at home.
Social media can help you stay connected between you and friends during a challenging time, but it is best used for information rather than emotion.