The number of adults in the United States who use social media has soared from 5% in 2005 to a staggering 72% in 2021, according to Pew Research Center. If you are like the vast majority of American adults who use social media, you probably have Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter accounts. You may even have a TikTok and Snapchat account. However, the problem is that social media and your divorce are typically not a good mixture for legal and personal reasons. Many divorcing spouses make mistakes on social media that ultimately impact their divorce proceedings. If you remain active on social media during your divorce case, it is critical to understand the best practices to avoid negative and unintended consequences. If you need help with your divorce, consider speaking with our dedicated divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Group, a full-service family law firm in Denver, Colorado. Get a phone case review by calling (720) 463-4333 or texting us at (720) 730-4558.
How Can Social Media Affect Marriages?
A 2020 survey by Pew Research Center revealed that 40% of partnered (married and dating) adults say they were bothered by the amount of time their spouse/partner spends on their smartphone. Many adults use smartphones to connect with other people on social media sites. Social media can affect romantic relationships and contribute to issues in marriages. Some of the most common issues that may affect marriages because of social media use include:
- More screen time, less quality time spent together. Many adults sacrifice their romantic relationships to spend more time browsing social media. As a result, partners and spouses spend less time together because social media accounts for a significant chunk of their day.
- Social media contributes to jealousy. Social media use could give rise to jealously. Whether jealously is warranted or not, it can create a disconnect and destroy the trust in a relationship or marriage.
- Social media makes it easier to engage in infidelity. Many adults hide their affairs on social media, which, when uncovered, can ruin the marriage. According to a study called “Social Media and Marital Infidelity,” many people perceive acts of unfaithfulness on social media to be “less harmful” than cheating in real life.
Social Media and Your Divorce: How to Avoid Mistakes
While social media platforms can provide emotional support for people going through an overwhelming and emotionally-taxing divorce, they can do more harm than good when used improperly. Follow these tips to avoid mistakes when using social media while your divorce case is ongoing:
- Stop using social media. Stop using your social media accounts during your divorce proceedings. In this case, your spouse and their attorney would have less evidence to use against you during the divorce.
- Nothing you post online is confidential. Even if you delete private messages, posts, pictures, videos, or other types of content from your social media account, it would still be subject to discovery during a divorce. In fact, deleting your social media profile or posts could be considered destroying evidence.
- Do not post anything negative about your spouse. If you cannot stop using social media while your divorce case is ongoing, at least avoid posting anything negative about your spouse. Do not use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other platforms to vent. Badmouthing your spouse online could make your divorce case more complicated.
- Anything you post on social media can be used against you. Think twice before posting anything on your social media accounts because anything you post could be used against you in court. Even if you change your privacy settings, your posts may still be accessible to your spouse through mutual friends. Additionally, if you delete any of your posts, it could be seen by the court as obstruction of justice.
- Do not discuss your divorce case on social media. Refrain from posting anything about your divorce proceedings. Discussing your legal issues or disputes online can cause unnecessary problems. If there is anything you want to discuss about your divorce case, consider visiting with an attorney. Consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney at Johnson Law Group to learn what you need to know about social media use while your divorce case is pending.
The Do’s And Don’ts of Using Social Media During a Divorce
If you want to learn more about social media and your divorce, it is vital to understand the do’s and don’ts of using Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms while your divorce is pending.
The Do’s of Social Media During a Divorce
- Change your social media account passwords
- Change privacy settings to restrict access to your accounts
- Think twice before posting anything online
- Ask your friends to avoid posting anything about your spouse or divorce
- Consider not using social media until your divorce is final
The Don’ts of Social Media During a Divorce
- Post photos of yourself consuming alcohol, using illegal drugs, partying, or having fun with your new romantic partner
- Speak negatively about your spouse
- Discuss the details of your divorce case online
- Believe that your spouse cannot see your photos or posts just because you changed your privacy settings
When Can Social Media Be Used As Evidence in a Divorce?
Typically, spouses are allowed to use the posts and photos posted by one another on social media to support their arguments during a divorce case. However, social media posts and photos may be deemed inadmissible when a spouse obtains evidence from the other spouse’s account illegally (e.g., through hacking). Spouses can use social media posts and photos of another spouse as evidence to prove the following:
- Infidelity (when a spouse posts pictures with their new romantic partner);
- History of verbal or physical abuse (sending threatening private messages to a spouse or confessing of physically abusing the spouse);
- Child neglect or abandonment; and
- Lying about their financial situation to avoid paying alimony or child support.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Denver, Colorado
In many cases, social media contains substantial amounts of incriminating evidence about everyone who posts anything online. For this reason, you need to understand how you should and should not use social media during your divorce. Consider speaking with a divorce attorney to advise you on social media use and walk you through every step of the divorce process. Our attorneys at Johnson Law Group can help you understand everything about social media about your divorce. Call us at (720) 463-4333 or send a text message at (720) 730-4558 for a case evaluation.