Your ex can use your social media activity as evidence in your divorce case. Granted, not all social media activity is harmful, but what you post (or what others tag you in) certainly has the power to affect the outcome of your case. So be cautious if you plan to use social media while your divorce case is on-going. In fact, it might be better to drop the habit for a while.
How Can Social Media Affect My Divorce?
Spouses may use everything from the other’s Facebook comments and Instagram photos, to Snapchat screenshots and Tweets as evidence in divorce cases.
But it won’t matter if a social media account contains evidence of adultery. Some studies have found that Facebook use is linked to higher risk of divorce, but Washington is a no-fault divorce state. Neither side has to prove fault for the breakdown of the marriage. So while evidence of adultery on social media might actually lead to your divorce, it doesn’t affect your divorce case.
That said, there are a couple of notable ways social media can affect certain aspects of your divorce case.
- Evidence of irresponsible behavior – If your social media accounts show you partying, binge drinking, using drugs, or exercising other similar behaviors, it might suggest irresponsible parenting, which can hurt your custody case.
- Evidence of reckless spending – If your profiles show that you are engaged in excessive and reckless spending (e.g., extravagant trips, luxury purchases etc.), it might be a factor in asset division.
Should I Avoid Social Media?
True privacy no longer exists; once you send a message or post something on social media, it can be hard to hide it. Even with privacy controls that prevent your ex from seeing your account, it might not actually prevent access. For example, another friend or connection could send your ex a photo you posted.
Here are a few tips for responsible social media use while you are getting divorced:
- Assume your spouse will see everything you post, even if you have privacy controls.
- Do not post anything to social media. Let your accounts sit dormant.
- Delete your social media accounts for the duration of your divorce.
If there is already questionable content on social media about you, let your attorney know. Full disclosure about any evidence your ex might have against you lets me prepare for any challenges that might arise.
Recent studies have found that a shocking number of divorces now involve inappropriate activity on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and that online relationships can be extremely damaging to marriages.
Social Media Rules for Spouses
When it comes to preventing a divorce, establishing a few social media rules can go a long way. Here are a few to get you started:
- Share your passwords – If you truly have nothing to hide from your spouse, you won’t mind that they can access your messages and see your activity. Sharing passwords is also one way to rebuild trust after it has been broken.
- Limit your time online – One study has found that any amount of prolonged social media activity can hurt relationships—even if you are not engaging in an emotional affair. The less time you spend on Facebook, the happier you may find yourself.
- Say no to old flames – A significant number of affairs that start on Facebook are with exes and other old flames. Consider keeping it light and polite when it comes to reconnecting with people you’ve had relationships with in the past.
- Avoid personal posts – Facebook can be a great tool when it comes to sharing pictures, keeping in touch, and organizing events. It becomes dangerous when you begin to use it as a place to share personal feelings or even gripe about your spouse. Remember that Facebook is a public place, not a diary.
Even if you take these measures to use social media safely, your spouse may not. If you need the assistance of an experienced Seattle divorce lawyer, we are here to help. Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to schedule an appointment at 425-460-0550.
If you’re in need of a divorce attorney in the Bellevue area, call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.