As a couple prepares for their divorce, each spouse will take stock of their social circles. Most people draw on their social support groups in times of stress, including through a challenging divorce. In today’s world, interacting with our friends and family often occurs via social media.
Posting on social media during a legal battle may present problems. Many people use social media to express opinions or blow off steam, looking for encouragement, support and connection. Spouses must take care with these posts, as they may harm a divorce suit.
5 guidelines to safe social media posting
Social media enables people to maintain relationships and even foster new connections, regardless of physical distance. The ease of the interactions causes people to let their guard down and forget how public these posts can be.
People involved in civil suits, like divorce, should avoid these five posting mistakes:
- Insulting the spouse: Though insulting one’s soon-to-be ex-spouse may help blow off steam and relieve stress, these posts can compromise a divorce suit or introduce more litigation. Untrue or exaggerated insults may result in a libel suit or impact child custody decisions.
- Checking in: Some spouses file for divorce to escape an abusive relationship. Checking in to locations on social media or posting about one’s whereabouts can compromise safety. Spouses who believe they are in danger should not disclose their location on a public forum.
- Combined friend groups: Over the years, a married couple’s friend groups can intermingle, compromising the security of even private posts. Responsible users will make sure to purge their friend list of anyone who might share revealing posts to their spouse.
- Careless posts: People love sharing pictures of a fun night out with friends. These innocuous posts may seem harmless, but many divorce cases revolve around assigning fault. An opposing lawyer may use these pictures as evidence of infidelity or to prove unfitness as a parent. Refrain from posting any supposedly compromising images.
- Open accounts: The easiest way to avoid making any mistakes on social media is temporarily closing all accounts.
Questions about privacy during a divorce? A lawyer can help
Since unchecked posting on social media can severely compromise ongoing litigation, spouses may have questions about their behavior in other areas of their lives. An attorney familiar with Hawaii’s divorce laws can advise on public activities, answer questions and draw up divorce paperwork.