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How social media use can affect an upcoming divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Divorce

Social media can help people feel connected even in their most desperate and lonely moments. The right platform can make it easy for someone to share good news or a family tragedy with others quickly. Social media can also help people develop their careers and preserve their interpersonal relationships.

However, social media use frequently comes up as a point of concern during legal disputes. Those awaiting a hearing in family court need to understand that whatever they say and do on social media could potentially have a bearing on their legal matters. As a result, you’ll need to take care regarding how you engage on social media until your case is fully resolved.

It can make someone look bad to the courts

The biggest impact social media often has on divorce is by establishing a story about one of the spouses. For example, if someone starts posting images of their new romantic interests after their spouse files for divorce, it might start to look like they may not have upheld their marriage vows.

That might then have a bearing on how the judge perceives that spouse, and misconduct could affect how they divide marital property. Similarly, someone’s sense of humor might make them look unstable or violent. The private messages that people send, even in jest, could also influence what judges believe would be appropriate for a family during divorce proceedings.

It can significantly complicate the process

Some people can make their spouse look abusive or unstable simply by accessing what that individual shares publicly on social media. Others will have to gather more evidence to support their claims.

Some people will even request digital discovery or the right to go through someone’s electronic records as part of a divorce. While such efforts may turn up signs of infidelity or financial misconduct, the amount of time and energy that goes into carefully evaluating someone’s social media record can make the divorce far more expensive and time-consuming than it would otherwise be.

For many people, the best approach to social media during a divorce will be to use it as little as possible, ideally not at all. Not talking about the divorce online is as important as eliminating online friends and old content that might compromise someone’s privacy or standing in family court.

Recognizing the personal habits that could have a negative impact on divorce proceedings will benefit those who are planning for a divorce filing. With that said, this is a nuanced and complex subject. If you’re unsure of what you should and shouldn’t be doing on social media until your case resolves, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance.

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Attorney Harvey S Lutins