Sometimes a client can feel like they need an outlet, and the ready connivance of Facebook and Twitter may make is seem like those would be good places to do a little venting. THINK TWICE. If the end of your marriage is on the horizon, you may want to stop and think about how your activity on the internet can affect you and your soon to be former spouse.
According to the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, it is become ever more important to manage your online footprint and is quickly becoming a regular topic in divorce consultations with lawyers.
By now, must people should understand that anything put on the internet is, essentially forever. Therefore, if you and/or your ex or soon to be ex spouse use social media frequently, you may try to work out an agreement about what either of you will put on the internet regarding your former marriage. Decide what should not be on there- particularly when it comes to posting photos. Should your kid’s pictures be on Facebook? How about dating sites? These questions may be awkward, or they may seem unnecessary, but a little communication at the front end may fend off conflict and perhaps even litigation.
We love our social media and as an attorney, I find that telling clients simply to close their Facebook account is one piece of advice that will rarely be followed. But the fact of the matter is that from the perspective of trying to manage your case, there is hardly anything positive that can come from using social media during the pendency of your divorce, but there is a great deal of the risk of harm to your case. One ugly rant on Facebook could severely damage your case and even require you to have supervised visitations with your children. Social media profiles can a running record of your most highly charged moments. This record can be legally accessed by your spouse’s attorney and used to put you in the worst light possible. Certainly your postings of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites are not a complete reflection of who you are, but if your are in a contested divorce, particularly if child custody is an issue then social media is like a storehouse of ammunition that your spouses’ attorney can use to severely damage you in court with.
You may want to talk with a legal professional about the use of social media and your online profile. In the midst of one of the most stressful occurrences in life, do you really want your private matters to be publicized to the world wide web? As you work through the process of your divorce, and experienced family law attorney can help you understand what data is worth protecting.