There is no doubt that social media and the internet consume our lives. Thanks to portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, the world is always at our fingertips no matter where we are. We are able to instantly connect with our networks and share items of information, from big news to menial tidbits throughout the day. While status updates and blogs can be written and maintained in good fun, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to social media and your divorce.
DO: Announce your divorce (if you so choose), but keep it classy and respectable. Simply say, “______ and I are getting a divorce. This is a private matter, and we would like to keep it that way. We thank you for cooperation.”
DON’T: Go into the sordid details of your divorce with anyone who asks. This will make it look like you are badmouthing your spouse. If you really find yourself needing to vent, do so to a family member or close friend, in person or over the phone. No matter what, do the right thing and take the higher road.
DO: Clean up your social networking profiles. The opposing party, or even the judge, can take a look at your Facebook or Twitter and see photos of you drinking copious amounts of alcohol and partying and view you as being unfit to care for your children. Instead, make family photos during events or holidays a main focus. You’re going to want to put your best foot forward during the divorce proceedings, and a good way to do that is to make sure your social networking profiles portray you in the best possible light.
DON’T: Forget to make as much information as possible on all social media platforms private. While you can’t hide everything, it’s a good idea to protect your Tweets of Facebook posts.
DO: Remember that your children, family and friends have social networking accounts, and they will be subject to any and all posts regarding your divorce. If you absolutely must post, keep it civil.
DON’T: Brag about as vacation you just booked or post photos of a new car (or any big ticket item). These expensive splurges may make it look like you have more money or assets than you actually do, and that could affect your divorce settlement.
DO: Tell your friends to not tag you in posts, including photos, status updates, and Tweets. While you may be able to keep the information in your profile private, your friends might have more relaxed privacy settings, which makes tagged posts visible to the opposing party.
DON’T: Update Facebook statuses or post Tweets with attorney-client information, for example, “My attorney said…” You could potentially be waiving your right to attorney-client privilege, as well as airing personal details about your divorce that you don’t want the world to know.
DO: Change all of your passwords for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, etc., to prevent your spouse from logging into your accounts to gather information.
Social media can be a great tool for both personal and professional gains, but it can be downright damaging to a divorce case. To ensure that the divorce process runs as smoothly as possible, follow these tips to successfully navigate the social media world.