From sharing photos of a child, pet or recent vacation to posting comments about your morning commute or religious or political beliefs, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide an easy and nearly instantaneous way for people to widely share and communicate. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2005, only five percent of U.S. adults reported using at least one social media platform. Today, that number has grown exponentially to nearly 70 percent with many social media users reporting posting, Tweeting and otherwise engaging with social media sites multiple times per day.
While the positive aspects of social media are often heralded, there are times when what you Tweet, post, follow or like may be used against you. If you are planning to file for or are going through a divorce and count yourself among the millions of U.S. adults who routinely Tweet, post photos on Instagram or comment on Facebook, it’s important to understand how this information could potentially be used in a divorce case.
Three Social Media Don’ts During Divorce
- Venting – Many people use their social media platforms as a means to rant about things that upset or anger them. It can, therefore, be very tempting to post about issues related to your divorce. However, whether implicit or explicit, broadcasting your frustrations about an ex, his or her attorney or judge in the midst of divorce proceedings can have serious consequences.
- Bragging – While going through a divorce, it’s normal to want to keep up appearances and project that you are doing well and have things under control. This is often especially true when it comes to your ex’s perception. While it may be tempting to post comments about how happy you are or photos of you out with a date or partying with friends, such declarations can have unforeseen consequences when it comes to divorce-related matters such as obtaining spousal support and child custody.
- Exploiting – If you and your ex have minor-aged children together, you should discuss ground rules with regard to mentioning or posting photos of shared children on social media. In most cases during a divorce it’s best to avoid any postings related to your children as doing so could be viewed negatively and as not being in a child’s best interest.
With social media playing a prominent role in the lives of many Pennsylvania residents, individuals who are going through a divorce would be wise to discuss any questions or concerns they have about their social media use and that of an ex with their divorce attorney.