Social media platforms have become an integral part of people’s daily lives. While they allow people to connect with friends and family, they also create a digital trail of activities, opinions and behaviors.
In divorce and child custody cases, this digital trail can be a double-edged sword. What you post online can significantly impact the outcome of your legal proceedings.
How social media can influence your case
In custody decisions, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. The other party could scrutinize your social media posts to determine if they align with the best interests of the child. Inappropriate posts or negative comments about your ex-partner could go against you in court.
If spousal support is one of the issues in your case, your social media profiles may undermine claims of financial hardship if posts, photos or videos showcase a lifestyle that suggests otherwise. Courts may consider this when awarding spousal support.
Tips for responsible online behavior
About seven in 10 Americans turn to social media as a way to connect with other people, share details about their lives and explore the world. However, think before you post anything on social media. Consider how others might perceive it in a legal context. Avoid posting derogatory comments or engaging in online disputes with your ex-spouse.
Review and adjust your privacy settings to control who can see your posts. Do keep in mind that even private posts can make their way into legal proceedings. For example, someone could screenshot a post of yours and send it to the other party.
Refrain from discussing any aspects of your divorce or custody case online. This includes not sharing legal details, frustrations or grievances. Also, try not to delete or alter posts after legal proceedings commence. That could potentially turn into an evidence-tampering issue. It’s best to leave your digital footprint intact.