Many people regularly go on Facebook and other social media sites to express their opinions about politics, sports, who won The Bachelor, what we think about Katy Perry’s latest hairstyle and more. If you’re going through a tumultuous divorce, it can be hard to resist the urge to vent about your soon-to-be-ex. However, that can be dangerous.
Family law attorneys often caution their clients to stay off social media during their divorce. Looking for pictures of your spouse with his or her new significant other will not do you any good. Posting about yourself, even if it’s something fun and seemingly positive, can come back to haunt you.
Where divorcing spouses can get into the most trouble is posting lies. It’s easy to forget that Facebook and other social media forums are public. Even if your page is set for only your friends to see, your words can get out there to virtually anyone.
If people can prove that their spouse’s false comments damaged their reputation and potentially their career, they can sue for libel. However, even if your posts don’t rise to that level, they can still harm your case.
Judges generally don’t look kindly on people who besmirch their spouses — in court or in public. If your divorce has gone to court, such social media activity can impact your request for support, custody and property. Even if you and your spouse are handling the divorce without involving the courts, angering your spouse can take the conflict up a notch, and you can find yourself fighting for things you weren’t before.
As noted, it’s best not to post anything on social media until your divorce is final. If there are too many pictures of you and your friends at a table with pitchers of margaritas, you may end up defending your fitness as a parent. If you post pictures of yourself spending every weekend sailing in your new boat off the Rhode Island coast, a judge may question your assertions that you can’t afford the alimony payments your spouse is seeking.
Listen to your attorney’s advice about social media. However, if you’ve already posted something you regret and your spouse has seen it, be honest with your lawyer so that he or she can help work to mitigate the negative consequences.
Source: FindLaw, “Ripping Your Ex on Facebook Can Cost You in Divorce,” Deanne Katz, Esq., accessed March 09, 2018