It is important to be careful and calculated in your actions during a pending divorce case. Everything that you do and say could become part of the case against you. This includes anything posted on social media platforms, such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. The best way to protect yourself is by not posting anything at all on social media until your divorce is finalized.
Can Lawyers Use Social Media Posts and Comments Against You?
Yes. Once you publish a post, comment, image or video to social media, it becomes submitted to public record, where it can easily be accessed by the general public, including private investigators and attorneys. Although making your profile settings private can make it more difficult for someone to access this information, it is still available and can be used during a divorce case if an attorney obtains a warrant from a judge.
The attorney working for your ex-spouse could use what you post to social media to obtain many different facts and information about your life to use on the case, including:
- Information about your assets, debts and marital property, including new property or assets acquired while the divorce is pending.
- Information about your income and expenses to determine child support and alimony obligations.
- Information about your fitness as a parent to determine child custody or visitation agreements, including your social and drinking habits.
A divorce attorney can use posts, pictures, comments on other people’s posts, comments, likes, location check-ins, tags, and even private messages or deleted content – in some scenarios – against you. To be safe, you should avoid posting to social media sites altogether during a pending divorce case. If you must continue using social media, only view other people’s posts – try not to post anything new of your own. Even something that seems innocent could be twisted around and used against you in a divorce case.
Social Media Mistakes to Avoid During a Pending Divorce Case
A divorce attorney can use social media as an important source of information about your lifestyle, romantic interests, hobbies, habits, social life, political views and much more. In turn, this data could be turned into evidence presented to a judge to support the opposing attorney’s case against you. The best practice is to temporarily disable all of your social media accounts until a judge has finalized your divorce case. This will keep your information safe from an attorney’s investigation of you.
If you must continue to use social media, protect yourself by avoiding these common mistakes:
- Don’t update your relationship status to “in a relationship” or post photos of a new love interest. This could be used against you – such as to show that you are already introducing your children to someone new.
- Don’t make any large purchases and post about them on social media. This could be viewed as a tactic to decrease your economic value or marital assets before your divorce, which is against the law and could result in penalties, if proven.
- Don’t badmouth or harass your ex. This type of behavior can look bad on you and be used as fuel in your ex’s case against you. If you are also badmouthing your spouse to your children in private, for example, this could look bad on you in a custody case.
- Don’t talk about your divorce or overshare personal details online. Complaining about your divorce on social media can come back to haunt you. Saying the wrong thing could make you look like an unreliable witness and turn the judge against you during a divorce case.
Many people don’t realize the very real impact that their social media activity can have on a divorce case in California. Following these tips can help you avoid posting anything that could hurt your chances of obtaining your desired outcome for a divorce case. If you don’t think that you can avoid making these mistakes or posting about your divorce, stop using social media altogether while your divorce is still pending.