Using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is almost second nature to Americans. If you are going through a divorce, you may be inclined to post on social media, but there are real concerns, both legal and emotional, that you should be aware of when using social media. Do you need to unplug completely? No, but there are some potential consequences to be aware of. Before posting an update on your divorce, educate yourself on the potential legal and emotional issues you may face.
Divorce is challenging, and most people experience a wide array of emotions throughout the process. Social media can make processing these emotions more difficult. For example, if you are struggling to handle your own emotions, seeing your friends “perfect” lives on Facebook may make you feel worse about your situation. Seeing all of your social media connections happy and enjoying life while you feel like your world is falling apart can have a major negative impact on your emotional state. If social media makes you feel worse about your situation, take a step back, and remind yourself that for every “perfect” picture posted on Facebook, everyone deals with difficulties too.
Also, while you may be inclined to vent on social media, do so with caution. While a post about your emotional struggles may seem therapeutic, meeting with a counselor or therapist in private is a much better option. Anything you say or post online is accessible to anyone you are connected to, potentially including your friends, family, children, or your soon to be ex. When everyone in your world can see your posts, you do not have the option to take anything back. Most people also want to maintain some sense of privacy during the divorce process, for the sake of their family, so keep in mind that things posted on social media sites can spread quickly. The whole community could potentially hear of your divorce if you are not careful.
In addition to the emotional side effects of using social media, you may potentially damage your case or face legal consequences due to your social media activity. Each form of technology that you use, such as email, Facebook, and even internet searches, could come back to haunt you if they are found by a lawyer representing your ex. If you are asking for reduced alimony payments, avoid posting about a lavish vacation. If you are battling for child custody, avoid posting pictures of you partying or participating in unsavory behavior. Also, there are many potential consequences of using dating apps and services during your divorce, so use extreme caution.
Anything you post online could be taken out of context at any time. That one argument you had with your spouse via Facebook Messenger years ago could resurface and be used during your divorce. A majority of what people typically post online is harmless, but be aware that anything you post could potentially be used to paint a negative picture of you.
Divorce specialists recommend changing your privacy settings on your social media profiles to allow access from friends only, but even this does not provide complete protection. Any pictures or posts you upload could damage your case.
A Qualified Attorney Can Help
Divorce is complicated, and those with no prior legal experience may not know how to best handle themselves. If you are considering a divorce, or have already initiated the process, you need the help of a qualified DuPage County divorce attorney. At Abear Law Offices, we work closely with our clients to provide them the best method possible for their divorce, and offer support and guidance every step of the way. You do not need to navigate this complex process on your own, especially when important items like child custody and asset division need to be handled. Call 630-904-3033 today for a consultation with us to review the services we provide.