David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
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Contemplating, or in a divorce: Guidelines for using social media and texts

If you are thinking about a divorce, or going through one, you need to be careful with what you do and say online. More than one-third of divorce attorneys rely heavily on social media for evidence in divorce cases, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and more than 60 percent of online evidence in divorces comes from Facebook alone. And, about 99 percent have used text messages in divorce cases.

What you say and share online can and will be used against you during your divorce. As tempting as it might be to tell your side of the story to your closest friends online, it is important to be careful.

What to know before posting online, or texting.

Here are some practical examples of what not to do and what to do online during your divorce. If you are going to post pictures, be sure to do the following:

  • Think before posting any pictures as they may become evidence in your divorce.
  • Disable the 'tag' function for pictures.
  • Be aware at social functions where pictures are being taken of how it can be used online.

If you are going to post online, or text, during a divorce, you will never regret taking the high road. Follow these tips before you write anything online to avoid your spouse, your spouse's lawyer, or friends using what you say against you:

  • Be discrete in what you post, and remember that you and your spouse have mutual friends.
  • Turn off the location setting for pictures for yourself and disable the option that allows friends to check you in at locations.
  • Avoid disclosing your relationship status until after the divorce is final. Practically speaking, you can just adjust privacy settings so that if you do change your status, it will be private.

Common mistakes to avoid during your divorce

Your online persona does not need to disappear during divorce. However, there are things to avoid to protect yourself and your loved ones during this emotional, and often heated, time in your life.

Some common mistakes to avoid include:

  • Don't post pictures of you drinking or partying. This could impact your custody proceedings.
  • Don't post pictures of you with your new boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Don't share pictures of an expensive vacation or purchases.

Another tip is to not share information online that you wouldn't tell you mother. This includes:

  • Don't over share online. Call your best friend to discuss the personal details of your divorce.
  • Don't post any rants about your soon to be ex that could harm your divorce settlement.
  • Don't discuss the details of your divorce.

Remember, while your divorce feels like it might last forever, it will end. Following these tips can prevent further disputes, protect your privacy and the overall outcome of your divorce. A divorce attorney can help you navigate your divorce and how to act on social media to protect yourself and your loved ones during a divorce.

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