Social media is everywhere these days and more adults than ever are flocking to these platforms, from Facebook to Instagram, to share some of the most intimate details of their lives. While this might be a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, it can do quite a bit of damage during a divorce. Everything you share can be forged into the perfect weapon to be used against you in court. What you once considered a harmless pastime can become your undoing.
How can social media become dangerous during a divorce? Continue reading to learn why you should be wary of online sharing before your marriage is officially dissolved.
- Online Activities Provide Illuminating Clues: No one outright shares their annual salary on social media, but certain posts can certainly hint at a person’s earning capacity. For example, if your spouse posts pictures from his or her trip to Las Vegas in a brand new luxury car, but claims to be broke, it is possible that assets are being hidden. It is also important to understand that even after you unadd or unfollow each other on social media and make your posts private, a spouse might still be able to learn about the information or pictures you are sharing. The fact is that you probably share lots of mutual friends. Some of them will remain your spouse and leak information that was never meant to be shared.
It is also possible that a friend of yours might tag you in a post, so even if you are careful about your own online activity, others might jeopardize your divorce settlement by revealing damaging information. Ask your family and close friends to refrain tagging you in posts or sharing pictures of you.
Lastly, just because your marriage is over does not mean it is safe to start creating online dating profiles. Yes, even those can be used as evidence in court. We often try to make ourselves seem more desirable in online dating profiles, which can sometimes involve blurring the truth. If a spouse is caught lying, even in an online profile, it could harm him or her in court.
- Your Emails and Texts Are Admissible in Court: Not only do you have to be wary of what you post online, but you should also be careful with emails and text messages. Even these private forms of communication can be subpoenaed and examined thoroughly for any pertinent evidence. For example, if you discuss an impending job offer or bonus, this might point to inaccuracies in your Financial Affidavit, or at least shed some doubt on your credibility.
Divorce attorneys often advise their clients to refrain from putting any information in an email, text, online, or another form of communication that they would not want to be viewed by a judge. Play it safe and do not share any personal information online or through texts.
- Nothing Online is Ever Truly Deleted: In general, it would be wise to keep in mind that everything you post can never be truly erased from the online world. Therefore, you should think of social media as both public and permanent. How is that possible? Well, even if you deleted or hid a post or photo, someone might have taken a screenshot of it while it was still public, or a cached version might still be retrievable through a search engine. Basically, you want to be certain that your online activity does not leave you vulnerable in your divorce case. The last thing you want to do is allow a post or photograph to derail your chances at a fair settlement.
Okaloosa County Family Law Attorneys
Going through a divorce can be an incredibly stressful and highly emotional time, even in the most amicable circumstances. With years of experience and multiple cases handled for residents throughout northern Florida, Chesser & Barr, P.A. understands what is necessary to effectively work through such sensitive and complicated matters. The outcome of this process can potentially change your life in immense ways, which is why it is so vital to seek skilled and experienced representation.
We handle a number of family law issues, including child custody, property division, adoption, prenuptial agreements, divorce, and visitation, to name a few.
Contact our office today at (850) 610-7471 to learn more about your legal options.