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Social media may backfire on your divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2017 | Divorce

Amid pictures of adorable pets and sunny vacations, you are sure to see Facebook posts from your friends complaining about their miserable jobs, their migraines and the latest political headlines. While all of these may be a normal part of social media for many in Colorado, some posts can create serious complications for you if you are going through a divorce.

Some may consider Facebook or other social media posts a natural way to blow off steam. Your friends may even suggest that it will help you to cope if you share your feelings about your divorce or your efforts to move on afterward. However, psychologists warn that oversharing during this delicate time may have the opposite effect and may, in some cases, be detrimental to your divorce case.

Oversharing when it’s over

From the very beginning of the process, you may be tempted to share in your status that you and your spouse are calling it quits, whether by a subtle change of relationship status or a bold, all-caps announcement. However, if you and your soon-to-be ex can’t agree on a mutually beneficially way to break the news to friends and family, you may just want to keep it to yourself for a while.

Not only could a premature posting hurt the feelings of those close to you who may have expected a more personal disclosure, everything you share through social media may become part of your divorce, no matter how innocently you meant it. One way to avoid sending a potential bomb into the social media world is to imagine the friends of your children or the manager who interviews you for your next job reading this very personal post.

What could do the most damage?

Obviously, you want a fair settlement from your divorce. You also want an agreeable child custody arrangement. You may also be hoping to obtain (or avoid paying) alimony. Your social media presence may play a pivotal role in any decisions the court makes for or against you. Be assured that your spouse’s legal team is likely monitoring your posts for anything they can use to tip the balance against you; for example:

  • Pictures of you on a lavish vacation
  • Posts about your latest spending binge
  • Photos of you at wild parties or committing illegal acts
  • Posts about your new romance

Over 80 percent of divorce lawyers admit they have seen social media used as evidence against a spouse, and the number seems to be on the rise.

Aside from potential legal ramifications, overusing Facebook or relying on social media for healing during and after a divorce is likely to leave you disappointed and perhaps even embarrassed. While you probably won’t want to block or unfriend a former spouse who is also a co-parent, you may find it helpful to refrain from lurking on your ex’s social media for information about his or her new life. Social media is beneficial in many ways, but using it in moderation during your divorce may be a healthy alternative.