Social media empowers you to freely share your views on any topic under the sun as well as connect with friends and others, no matter where they are located. But when you are contemplating a divorce or going through a divorce proceeding, it is time to restrain yourself and be judicious about using the freedom to express that social media provides you.
Make sure you listen to your California divorce lawyer’s advice regarding participating on social media your divorce proceedings. Here are some useful insights from a seasoned divorce lawyer about social media best practices and how a careless remark on social media can damage your prospects in the court or during negotiations.
Prudent behavior during your divorce proceeding demands just because you have the freedom to say anything on social media does not mean that you actually go ahead and say it. For example, your divorce attorney may be arguing in the court to reduce your spousal support obligations because of your current financial position.
At that time, if you are posting images of your latest exotic vacation to the Bahamas, it may provide an opportunity to your ex-spouse to present these images in court to weaken your case. Consider another situation. You may be going through a bitter custody battle in court, while your social media pages have photographs or videos that show you consuming alcohol while your kids are around, or revealing your frequent visits to nightclubs or late night parties.
A picture can say more than a thousand words, and it will create a perception that goes against you in the court. Your former spouse’s lawyer could effectively use these pictures to demolish your argument that you deserve to have sole physical custody of your child.
But even if your attorney has the skill and experience to achieve a favorable result on your behalf through negotiations with the other party, your adverse remarks on social media could ruin your chances. A common friend or follower on your social media network may inform your ex-spouse about what you have been venting against him or her on a public platform.
This could worsen an already-strained relationship, and your ex might back out from their cooperative position of negotiation. Unwanted delays and costs and less desirable outcomes may result from on social media.
Do not discuss or provide updates about your divorce proceedings on social media (including direct messages to social friends and followers).
Do not change your marital status to “single” or “divorced” on social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
Do not share, comment, like or re-tweet anything personal and negative against your ex.
Do not upload, share, or like any images or videos that feature you while you are drinking or partying.
Do not post images or videos or comments about any recent expensive shopping, dining, or vacation.
Do not flaunt any photographs that show you dating someone while your divorce proceedings are on.
Do not post anything on social media that a family court judge may not like – and when in doubt, check with your lawyer before you post.
You may feel indignant or mad about how your ex-spouse has been treating you or how you feel about the way they are arguing in court, or how things are proceeding in your case. But social media is not the place where you can give vent to these feelings while your divorce decree is still pending.
If your emotions are likely to get the better of you, it may be wiser to take a temporary break from all social media activity until your divorce is finalized. In any case, make sure to change your social media account passwords, and turn their settings to private. Do not follow any new persons on social media for a while unless you know who they are.