More than 220 million Americans have at least one social media account, and most of them use social media on a regular basis. While this is not strictly a problem by itself, the ways people use social media can potentially cause problems, especially for someone involved in divorce proceedings. Here are five ways that social media can cause problems in a divorce:
- Shared social media pages
- It is reasonably common for people on social media platforms to share their accounts with their spouses, either informally or as part of a shared “family” account. While this may be fine when a marital relationship is going well, these shared social media pages can become a serious source of problems during a divorce. One spouse may decide to change the password and lock the other spouse out of the account, or take control of the account to get back at the spouse. In either case, abuse of shared accounts does not look good to anyone in court.
- Unfiltered statements
- When a divorcing couple is in court, they are typically careful about the things they say. However, when they get on their social media accounts, they may share their opinions much more freely, unaware of how their statements might be turned against them. More than one spouse involved in a divorce has found their own Facebook or Twitter posts turned against them in court filings, finding out too late that their spouse was monitoring their social media activity.
- Time and location data
- People do not need to explicitly say anything wrong on social media to potentially damage their cases, though. What many people do not realize is that their posts come with data that can dictate the time and location where it was sent. This means that a person’s posts can be used to prove where they were at certain times, which can significantly impact their arguments in court.
- Compromising images and video
- Suffice it to say that anyone involved in a divorce case should be very careful about any pictures or videos they choose to post online. If embarrassing or inappropriate images or videos of them go on social media, there is a reasonable chance they will show up in court to be used against them. This is true even if they are not the one that posted the images or videos.
- Getting friends and family involved
- Finally, there is the “social” aspect of social media to be careful about. It can be tempting to use your social network as a form of support against your spouse, or even to use it to harass or stalk them. Not only is this a bad idea for your divorce case, but if it is severe enough, it could cross the boundary into potential criminal liability. Thus, try to avoid dragging your friends or family into your divorce, for your own sake.
If you have questions regarding divorce or other aspects of family law, you should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling these matters. A New York matrimonial lawyer, who is experienced in handling family law cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you are facing a dispute related to the equitable distribution of property, child custody, child support, or any other family law issue, contact the Suffolk County family court lawyers at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702 or visit our contact page.