Social media has become omnipresent in many of our lives. Everyone, from our kids to our grandparents, has various social media accounts. Many people use social media to stay in touch, socialize, and even do business. With so much of our lives shared online, it is not uncommon to feel stress or anxiety about how social media accounts may impact your divorce. Below we look at how social media can be used in divorce cases and whether you should delete your accounts.
Can Social Media Posts Be Used in a Divorce?
Yes, social media posts can be used as evidence during a divorce. It is becoming increasingly common for social media posts and accounts to be brought up during divorce proceedings for various reasons. For example, posts have been used to prove infidelity or harm the other party's character. Consequently, social media posts can have an impact on a wide range of divorce matters, including spousal support, property division, child support, and child custody.
Unfortunately, once something is posted on the internet, you should consider it publicly available and permanent. Even things posted on private accounts can be made available to a wider audience than you intended. It is also very common for individual posts to be taken out of context and twisted to fit a false narrative. Though this is very distressing, you should consult with your attorney before deleting your accounts.
To learn more about how social media is used in family court, review our blog post here.
The Risks of Deleting Your Social Media Accounts During a Divorce
Though many people use social media to communicate with and even vent to their friends and family, you want to avoid posting anything about your divorce on the internet. In fact, it is recommended that you refrain from posting on social media at all during your divorce. This is because anything you say on the internet can be potentially twisted and used against you in court.
While you shouldn't post on social media during your divorce, you should also avoid deleting posts or deleting your accounts altogether unless directed to do so by your attorney. First, it is unlikely that deleting your account or posts will accomplish anything as the information may already have been saved and shared beyond your profile and network. Additionally, the decision to delete your account or posts may come under scrutiny during divorce proceedings, and you want to avoid accusations of hiding or destroying evidence.
If you are going through a divorce and have active social media accounts (such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok), you should disclose these accounts to your attorney and discuss your options with them. They can help you determine the best way to proceed.
Should I Block My Ex?
The answer to this question will be different for every person. Just as you should think twice before deleting your account, you should also carefully consider whether it is worth blocking your ex on social media during your divorce. In some cases, where you and your ex are on good terms, it may not be necessary to block them, and blocking them may end up creating animosity. Additionally, by blocking them, you also lose access to what they are posting, some of which may be important to your case. However, if you and your ex have a high-conflict situation, blocking them may be a good idea.
Before blocking your ex from your social media accounts, consult with your lawyer. Your lawyer can use their experience to help guide you in making this decision.
Navigating social media after a divorce can be difficult. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we have helped many clients deal with this challenging topic, and we are prepared to help you too. Reach out to our law firm online to discuss your case.