Divorce involves untangling yourself from a life that was once deeply intertwined with another’s. That can be both a logistical and emotional nightmare. While that’s largely always been true, the popularity of social media in the modern era has added a whole new layer of complexity to a lot of divorces. These days, it’s estimated that 80% of divorce attorneys in this country have seen social media evidence used in their cases.
Ideally, if you’re going through a divorce, the best thing to do is to delete your social media apps off your phone and avoid posting until the process is over. If that’s not something you’re realistically going to do, you at least need to be aware of numerous potential dangers.
Heightened emotional stress
Social media provides a constant stream of information about the lives of others – and that can inadvertently trigger a lot of emotional turmoil during a divorce. Seeing your ex-spouse posting pictures of their new life, friends or romantic interests can prolong your healing process and make it harder to move on.
One of the most significant drawbacks of social media during divorce is the ease with which it can serve as a source of evidence that can hurt your position. Posts, messages and pictures shared on these platforms can be used in court to support or dispute claims related to child custody, alimony or property division. Posting about vacations, expensive purchases or other expenditures, for example, can affect alimony and asset division decisions, as those can make it appear that you have more resources than you claim.
If you’re worried about your private life becoming very public, social media is a big issue.
Sharing the down-and-dirty details of your divorce online can quickly polarize friends and family members and make your divorce a topic of public interest. Social media platforms can also enable your ex to engage in digital stalking. If you’re concerned about your ex-spouse’s lack of boundaries, staying off social media for a while can help.
There’s no reason to navigate the complexities of a divorce on your own. Seeking legal guidance can help you better understand the pros and cons of each decision you make – and alert you to potential concerns that you may not have considered.