How to Act on Social Media While Going Through a Divorce/or Not!
Most people are simply not prepared to go through the rigors of a contested divorce. They believe that all they need to do is leave it to the lawyers to file the paperwork, attend the hearings, and make the decisions. In reality, a divorce also involves a party’s personal behavior, which makes everything in their life fair game for evidence, according to Garden City divorce attorneys. And, most importantly, that includes anything someone is producing, writing, commenting, and photographing on social media.
Too Much Information is Available Now
Unlike 10 or 15 years ago, most people are closely connected to social media. Whether it be from common tools like Twitter and Facebook to more esoteric channels like Discord and Vine, social media is here to stay, and people produce a tremendous amount of information about themselves daily. All of that information, unfortunately, can be used by an opposing attorney as evidence to support an argument in a divorce case. For example, if a party is arguing in divorce court that he or she is strapped for income, but then posts all over Twitter and TikTok their getaway with friends in Las Vegas, the splurging activity visible is not going to go well when brought up by Garden City lawyers. This scenario is repeated again and again because of careless social media posting.
Legal Tips on What to Avoid with Social Media When Divorcing
Per legal separation attorneys, not participating in social media is probably the best strategy to follow once a divorce is started. However, that may not be practical for many people who rely on social media for their networking and social interests. So, if the activity needs to continue, family lawyer Garden City NY experts recommend the following:
- Avoid deleting anything already posted. This could look like you’re trying to destroy evidence once the divorce is started, which can get a person in real hot water with the court.
- Change all passwords so any potential shared account is shut off from the divorce partner.
- Set all accounts to private so that only the parties you want to see the posts see them, not anyone happening to find your social media site.
- Avoid any new negative commentary about family, whether it be the divorcing partner or relatives. Even opinions about how someone is behaving badly can backfire.
- Follow the newspaper rule – If you can’t handle what you post being a headline in the newspaper the next morning, don’t write or post it at all. That includes being in any photographs of your own or friends. If friends are thinking of including you in their posts, ask them not to. Instead, try to be like that celebrity who avoids the press. The less out there, the less they have to talk about.
- Don’t discuss anything about your divorce with others aside from your attorney. Anything you say to others, even in online meetings or audio channels can be recorded and come back to you, and those people can be called as witnesses.
- Don’t assume your work account and channels are immune. They are not only accessible by an opposing attorney, but your activity can also be seen as non-work related and can get you in trouble with your employer.
- Consider help from a reputation company. While it won’t remove damaging material already online, it could bury the material with a constant stream of generic, positive content approved by your attorney. That makes searching for content harder online and improves your overall digital picture to others.
Again, the less said, posted or displayed, the better off a divorcing party is from a divorce lawyer Garden City perspective. In general, practicing good etiquette online is always advised, but it’s even more important when engaged in a divorce and with an opposing counsel actively looking for your vulnerabilities to use in court. Don’t make it easy for them to win a case against you. Fass & Greenberg LLP can help clients proactively avoid social media traps. As a divorce law Garden City NY resource, our offices regularly deal with these issues and how our clients can avoid them.