How social media activity can affect a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Divorce |

Millions of people rely on social media as a way to efficiently communicate with their friends and family members. People often turn to social media during times of confusion or distress seeking assistance. They can also convey important moments to many people at once instead of making multiple separate phone calls.

Someone who doesn’t relish the idea of telling all of their friends and colleagues individually that they are about to divorce might use social media to share that information quickly. People hoping to connect with emotional support or warn others about the misconduct of their spouse might also share on social media. Yet, what someone posts on social media may seem like a personal and private matter, but it can have a serious impact on someone’s legal proceedings.

Social media can be a treasure trove of evidence

Some lawyers intentionally go over social media accounts in depth during divorce proceedings looking for signs of wasteful spending or infidelity. They may also look for content that could constitute defamation or evidence of abuse.

Anything that people have shared publicly is potentially fair game. In fact, even private messages and posts in private groups could become evidence in some cases. People can share screenshots of seemingly private content with a spouse. It is also possible for attorneys to use the right of discovery to request access to someone’s social media history.

In such a case, even hidden and deleted content could potentially be visible to a spouse and their lawyer. Generally speaking, people should be aware that anything they post or say on social media could potentially end up used as evidence against them in court. Of course, the inverse is also true about their spouse. Some people make a point of going over a spouse’s account to capture screenshots of inappropriate posts or threatening private messages.

How people handle social media during divorce

The simplest solution for mitigating social media risk during a divorce is to stay off of social media platforms. No privacy settings can protect someone from people who share information because they like to stir the pot or formal discovery.

Additionally, much of what people seek to do on social media they can actually accomplish in private real-life discussions. They can reach out to trusted friends and family members seeking emotional support without exposing themselves to the risk of their complaints are concerns becoming part of the court case.

Letting go of social media as a form of support temporarily during a divorce can be difficult, but it can lead to a better overall outcome. The more contentious a divorce may become, the more important it is to protect oneself from potential sources of risk and misunderstanding.