Social Media and Divorce: Things to Keep in Mind
Going through a divorce is emotional. Because of this, and because of the nature of social media and communication in today’s digital age, a person filing for divorce – or who has recently been served a petition for divorce – may be tempted to share their woes online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more are all popular forums for sharing information about a person’s activities, feelings, and private life.
While sharing details of one’s life may be normal in 2016, doing so while you are going through a divorce is ill advised. In fact, your social media activity may even be used against you to negatively affect the outcome of a property division, child custody, or alimony decision.
What Social Media Can Tell the Court
Social media posts, photos, status updates, location check-ins, and all other public information are considered evidence and can be presented in court. This means that your activity on social media can tell the court very private information about you, and can insinuate – accurately or not – negative or immoral characteristics, such as:
- Whether or not you are having an affair;
- Whether or not you have spent money to further an affair or other acts of marital misconduct;
- Whether you are impulsive;
- Whether you have bad or illegal habits, such as drug usage or excessive drinking;
- Whether or not you appear to provide a safe environment for your child; and
- Whether or not you are interested in maintaining a positive relationship with your child and your child’s other parent.
The list above includes just a few of the things that a court may be able to deduce from your online behavior.
How Can These Things Affect a Divorce Settlement?
All of the above factors may affect a divorce settlement in some way. For example, while marital fault is not considered in Florida, an act of adultery may be considered in a property division settlement if the marital misconduct detracted from the family’s finances. The same is true with alimony; if one spouse depleted a family’s financial resources through an affair or other type of marital misconduct, this may be impact a court’s decision.
While an affair in itself cannot be considered when making a determination about parenting time in Florida, the court may find a parent to be unable to physically or emotionally provide for their child, or provide a stable environment for their child, based on social media evidence. For example, social media posts that show an individual continually getting wasted at bars implies that the individual is likely not currently fit to care for a child, especially a young child.
Protect Yourself During Divorce
Do not be the person whose divorce settlement is negatively impacted because of foolish social media activity. If you are going through a divorce, the best thing that you can do is to delete or suspend your social media profiles and hire an experienced Florida divorce and family law attorney. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A., we are ready to represent you. Contact us today to schedule your free case review.