Social media is undeniably a significant part of people's everyday lives. We use it to rekindle old friendships, stay in touch with friends and family, and provide us with support. While social media platforms have several good benefits, it can also be a harmful tool.
Naturally, people going through a divorce are under a lot of emotional pressure and may turn to social media to seek relief or affirmation. But sometimes, it can also be used as an avenue to air bad feelings or accuse the other party of things which may not necessarily be true. If the other party winds up hearing or seeing your posts, they could use this against you in court.
Here are some tips on how to use social media during divorce proceedings:
Do think before you post
Anything you post in social media is essentially a public document so think twice before posting. If you're going to post something, ask yourself "Will I regret posting this tomorrow?". If the answer is yes, don't post it. Social media can easily be taken out of context and set the narrative of who you are as a person, partner or parent, even if it's not exactly accurate.
Do change your privacy settings
Your content may not be as secure or as private as you think and screenshots of your posts, messages, or photos may be used as evidence against you in divorce proceedings. Ask friends not to tag you in their photos or posts. Also avoid discussing your divorce proceedings in group chats since other members can potentially show these messages to your ex- partner or their attorney.
Do maintain your composure
Emotions can run high during divorce proceedings but always try to keep your calm and not get caught up in the little things. Refrain from making disparaging comments, using aggressive language, or making any threats against your ex.
Don’t delete your profiles
It's easy to think that deleting all your social media profiles might be the best option to steer clear of trouble but this can be viewed as an attempt to ‘get rid of evidence’. Speak with a family law attorney first before you delete any social media account.
Don’t announce a new relationship
If you are in a new relationship, it may be tempting to announce it. But do think about whether it's really necessary or not, especially in the early stages of a new relationship. Also, keep an eye on what your new partner may be sharing on social media.
Don’t post intimate photos or videos with your ex
Posting intimate photos or videos from during your relationship without your ex-partner’s consent is a form of abuse. This can have very serious consequences during your divorce proceedings. This can also have criminal consequences for you.
Don’t engage in arguments online
If friends or family members of your ex-partner makes negative comments about you, don't bite back. Simply unfollow and ignore them. Do keep screen-shots of these comments and provide them to your lawyer.
Don’t discuss your proceedings
Never discuss your proceedings directly or indirectly, including parties or witnesses involved. Remember, it can be a criminal offence to publish information regarding Court proceedings, especially if a party involved in the proceedings (including a child) is identified by name.
Aside from all your social media networks, also think about the devices where you store information. Evidence found in your personal desktop, laptop, or phone, and email can be used against you.
And, when in doubt, the rule of the thumb is don't post!
Family law matters can be complicated, especially when it involves social media. Marino Lawyers has a team of family law attorneys who can guide you through the process. We are a trusted law firm in Cairns with offices in Port Douglas, Edmonton, Gordonvale, and Babinda. Schedule an appointment at the nearest Marino Lawyers office.