Divorce is never a smooth sail and the physical and emotional trauma that comes with the package only makes it a harder storm to weather. In times like these, spouses tend to draw closer to attention even if they are trying to move away from it especially if it is a high asset divorce. While Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram can be a good way to ensuring that one moves on with life and takes the mind of the divorce for a while, it is quite imperative that you are highly cautious of the content and type of information you post on your page as well as the type of interaction that exists between you and your spouse online. In fact, most family law practices in Orlando will advise that you stay off social media during the divorce process.
While some may not realize the advantages that staying off social media for a while brings, here are some crucial ways in which these social platforms can compound problems for you and further affect your divorce.
While I do not advise anyone to go around their assets declaration in a bid to keep claim of some items or commit some type of shady transfers to ensure that they part with the least possible amount, social media can affect the plan irrespective with many features. Firstly, a social post that gives away any form of luxury trips or outing ought to be avoided. Even though you have blocked your spouse, their friends and mutual friends could knowingly or unknowingly disclose such information to them.
This can be quite damning especially if you just pled to being broke in court the previous week. Even in posts that have no real information and caption can give you away especially when the "geotagging" feature was on while you took and posted the photo. A photo containing a yacht you claimed to have sold or a getaway trip with a girlfriend to an undisclosed cabin could at the least prompt questioning and at the most be investigated in depth by your spouse and her legal pit bulls, how much more selfies with new BMWs, photo tags in expensive gift donations or a comment from a close friend at work congratulating you about that pay raise and promotion?
Anything that can stir controversy on your true financial state and assets should be totally avoided in this period.
Where there is a will, there surely is a way. In times of divorce whether smooth or rocky, you are best off staying away from your spouse's page. Posts made directly from your account or messages from yours to theirs may be misinterpreted into something that can be used against you in court. That means no “I'm sorry” messages and posts even with all the good intentions talk less of an all-out attack on your spouse over ongoing matters or even worse - posts that contain foul words and threats; these hateful types are the most damaging and could go beyond turning your case from good to bad or bad to worse. Any family law practice in Orlando could even overwhelmingly exaggerate the situation so much that your spouse files for a restraining order against you.
Be mindful of your activity and keep the farthest distance possible from your spouse and her social space during and quite frankly after the divorce as all forms of evidence gathered online can be tendered and used against you in every way.
Social media can have a very important role on who gets to keep the child or children in some cases as well as the alimony involved in the divorce. It is not far-fetched to get cases where sober victims of divorce go to bars and clubs, get drunk, take a few pictures, drunk text and send to Instagram sometimes or maybe it's a snapchat story that shows nothing major but you and your friends out for some Friday night drinks. Most family law practices in Orlando will advise that it’s better to live a simple life during that period than create negative publicity and worsen your case.
Whatever the case may be, these things once obtained can be tendered as evidence against you especially in the cases where the pictures or video contains morally unacceptable behaviors. A good family lawyer in Orlando working for the other side will make a case of your inability to cater for the children in the context of a parent, while citing alcohol and exposure to drugs and cigarettes as part of her reasons for declaring you unfit and irresponsible.
Any fancy showoffs can also trigger your spouse's reaction and have her lawyers file for more money for alimony and child support especially if she strongly believes that you are suddenly making more money. Social media may also be a very effective way of dropping clues especially if there was an "other person" in the relationship which can help connect unwanted dots as to when the relationship and affair had started which inadvertently damages your reputation before the jury.
Social media can be a great place to get away for the divorce tension but only as a bystander in most cases and not as an active participant. It is best that your Instagram and Facebook as well as the few others have reduced activities till after the divorce. It is also noteworthy that text messages, emails and conversations about finances and assets be strictly avoided and discussions as such should be done in person as the court could subpoena for emails, texts and chats.
To ensure that the least possible damage is done to your case by social media, avoid bragging to your ex, block them and their friends if need be, stop geotagging, check-ins and drunk texting. If you are in a Child custody battle, ensure that all your posts of you need to, contain warm and positive activities and environment that can show you as a competent parent that can help your children grow and mentor well.
Finally, it may be most helpful that you change all your passwords and digital signatures as you never know who may be looking to hack you. The best way to go is to update your privacy settings on all social platforms and stay off controversial posts and comments. If you have more questions about the past posts or online activities that may come back to haunt you, speak to your family law practice in Orlando for legal counsel and clarification.