Divorce can create a substantial amount of upheaval in your life. The emotional toll alone can be significant, driving you to look for outlets to vent your frustrations and discuss your fears for the future. Turning to family and friends for in-person conversations can be helpful, but many divorcing individuals turn to social media for its ease of use and widespread connectedness. Yet, utilizing social media during the pendency of your divorce can be dangerous, spurring your case toward a bad outcome.
But how does social media put you at risk in your marriage dissolution? Let’s take a closer look.
The dangers of social media use during divorce
Social media use may seem innocent enough, but it can put you in a bind when you’re trying to argue your points in your divorce. Here are some ways that social media can pose a threat to you and your legal positioning:
- Evidence of infidelity: Washington is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that evidence of infidelity alone shouldn’t really impact your divorce. In reality, though, adultery often has other issues that can impact the division of assets and child custody. For example, if your social media gives indications that you sparked up an extramarital relationship with someone who has been convicted of a crime like domestic violence, then that information can be used to demonstrate that you’re exposing your child to a dangerous individual. Additionally, evidence of an affair can impact property division if it can be shown that you utilized marital funds to support that relationship.
- Evidence of a lifestyle unconducive to childcaring: Your spouse might also scour your social media to find pictures and posts that show you engaging in behavior that they’ll try to construe as being inappropriate. For example, if there are photos of you having drinks with friends, then your spouse might try to paint you as someone who has a drinking problem and therefore is incapable of safely taking care of your child.
- Inconsistent statements: You want your testimony in your divorce to carry a significant amount of weight so that you can persuade the judge to rule in your favor. However, if your spouse finds information on social media that contradicts your statements, then your credibility and reliability can be tarnished. This can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case.
- Unrealistic portrayal of your financial situation: If child support and alimony are in question in your divorce, then your financial positioning is going to be a contested issue. Your social media posts, even if they don’t align with your true financial picture, can be used to show that you have more money than you claim, which could leave you subjected to a larger child support or spousal support judgment than deserved.
With so much risk associated with using social media during your divorce, you need to take proper precautions to protect your privacy. While that includes blocking your spouse and restricting who can view your profile page, be cognizant of the fact that friends you share with your spouse may still gather information from your social media pages and share it with your spouse. With so much at stake and the difficulties with controlling social media, you’re better off staying away from it for the time being.
Don’t let your own mistakes negatively impact your divorce’s outcome
There are a lot of mistakes that can be made during the divorce process. If you fall victim to them, then you could wind up in a less desirable position when all is said and done.
That’s why you need to take a holistic approach to your divorce, ensuring that you’ve anticipated everything that can go wrong. By doing so, you’ll position yourself to make the persuasive arguments necessary to adequately advocate for your interests.