How social media activity could impact your divorce

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | family law |

Social media has become an integral part of the daily lives of most American adults. As a result, it is not entirely surprising that its presence can impact both why people get divorced and the divorce process itself. As social media has flurished, its presentation in Court has become prevalent.

Depending on how you utilize social media during your divorce, you could potentially compromise the strength of your position as a result of your own activity or potentially strengthen your position by using your spouse’s activity to corroborate your positions and other evidence. 

Concerns about social media use

These are just a few of the ways in which social media can impact a couple’s divorce:

  • Evidence of infidelity: Social media can provide evidence of infidelity, which can be used as evidence in a divorce case. Photos, messages, and other online activities can be used to prove infidelity and affect the outcome of a divorce settlement.
  • Sharing of personal information: Social media platforms encourage users to share their personal lives online, but this can have negative consequences during a divorce. Sharing personal information, including financial details, could be used against either spouse in court.
  • Custody challenges: Social media posts can also impact custody situations. Negative posts could call into question the fitness of either parent. 
  • Reputational damage: Social media activity can also impact each spouse’s reputation during a divorce. Negative posts or online activity can affect how others perceive either individual and impact their professional and personal relationships.
  • Deleting posts:  before deleting any content, consult with your attorney.  The law has now evolved to  create a duty on all parties to preserve electronic data and a corresponding presumption that if material is deleted, that is must have been harmful to the client.
  • Nothing is secret: most platforms, including Whatsapp and Instagram,  still retain records of what is posted and messages between users, that can be recovered. So while applications may promote being discrete, often times in practice the information can be recovered.

    As a result of these realities, it is generally a good idea for you to avoid or limit the use of social media until your divorce case is resolved, and if you post anything, doing so with the knowledge that your post likely will be presented in Court. Also be mindful of what your friends and relatives are posting if you appear in their posts.

    If your divorce is likely to be contentious you may  benefit from seeking legal guidance and your spouse’s social media activity could help you to achieve your divorce-related goals. 

    Mr. Bull is a an attorney licensed and practicing in North Carolina since 1992 with an area concentration in Family Law. He has represented clients in domestic matters throughout western North Carolina related to divorce, custody, property division, alimony and child support.[/author_info]

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