Posting on social media has become a social norm in modern America. Whenever
something happens in our lives, our knee-jerk reaction is to snap a photograph
and share our experience with all of our online friends. While Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus have become useful outlets for people
to keep in touch with friends and family, abusing social media can have
serious consequences, especially during divorce. A person’s online
presence can have a great impact on divorce negotiations and settlement
agreements. If you are separating from your spouse, it is vital that you
watch what you post online to avoid potential legal consequences.
Privacy Is an Illusion
It is imperative to remember that anything posted on the internet is permanent.
Even if you delete or hide a post, there is likely a cached version or
a screenshot of it on a server that can be accessed with a little digging.
Blocking or “unfriending” a person can be just as ineffective,
as mutual friends of you and the blocked person can still see what you
post. Since social media providers are constantly changing up their privacy
settings, you can never be too sure who is actually seeing what you post
once you hit “send.”
There is always a possibility that an unintended viewer will be able to
see your post. A prime example of this is Facebook’s “friends
of friends” loophole. This clause allows the friends of people on
your friends list to see your private posts that your mutual friends have
liked, commented on, or shared, thereby exposing your posts to a much
larger audience than initially believed. Other people’s posts can
have a similar effect.
This has been known to expose infidelity and other unsavory behaviors in
marriages. For example, if a husband is tagged in a picture on Facebook
of him and his mistress, his wife can now see the post. The wife can now
file for divorce on grounds of fault, potentially giving her an advantage
during negotiations. Another example would be if a person were to claim
to be unable to pay spousal support due to financial hardship, only to
subsequently post a photo of their newly purchased luxury wristwatch.
The receiving spouse now has proof that the paying spouse is indeed financially
capable of paying alimony and will likely receive a greater award as a
result of their dishonesty.
Social Media Posts Are Admissible as Evidence
Anything that is transmitted electronically or posted on the internet can
be used as evidence during divorce litigation.
Electronic documents, text messages, and social posts can influence the
To protect yourself, consider anything that is electronically written to
be public information. Do not write or send anything you would not want
a judge to get their hands on.
Steer clear of posting any of the following:
- Angry rants directed at your spouse
- Photographs with a new significant other
- Posts or photos indicating neglectful parenting
- Threats of physical harm or racial slurs
Divorcing? Call (951) 506-6654
If you and your spouse have decided to separate, a knowledgeable
Riverside divorce lawyer from Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich can walk you through the process
of divorce and protect your rights every step of the way. With a
Certified Family Law Specialist within our ranks, we have the skills and knowledge you need to maximize
your chances of achieving an amicable resolution for your situation.
To find out more about what our decades of experience can do for you,
request a free consultation or
contact our office online today.