Social media has quite literally taken over the world. According to adweek.com, 2014 social media user statistics show Facebook to have 1.28 billion active users, Twitter 255 million, Instagram 200 million, and Pinterest 40 million. Many social media users readily communicate with their friends, followers and complete strangers by posting updates, sharing opinions about various subjects and uploading photographs. While, for the most part, social media sites are used for benign purposes, individuals who are divorced or going through a divorce would be wise to use caution when posting and sharing anything via a social media website.
During divorce proceedings, both sides often use any and all information they can gather against the other to get the upper hand, including information shared through social media sites. This is often especially true in cases where spouses aren’t able to agree upon certain terms and proceedings become contentious.
Here are just some of the areas of divorce that your online activity could affect:
- Child custody: Posting stories about your active social life or pictures of you partying with friends, could potentially be used as evidence to raise doubts about your parenting skills.
- Alimony: A picture of you basking in the sun on a tropical beach or posing next to your brand new car may negatively impact your chances of being awarded spousal support or alimony.
- Property division: Your ex’s legal team will be looking to try and find any assets that you could be hiding. Posting pictures of any belongings that haven’t been disclosed as marital assets could raise questions about whether or not additional hidden assets exist.
It’s important to note that even in cases where a divorcing or divorced individual “unfriends”, “blocks” or “unfollow” an ex, he or she will likely still be able to view your content. When it comes to the Internet and social media websites, everything is fair game and even deleted comments, photos and posts can easily be retrieved, viewed and submitted as evidence in divorce or child custody proceedings.