In today’s digital age, the impact of social media on a divorce case cannot be underestimated. As a lawyer and counselor, I often advise clients on how to handle social media during divorce, and must emphasize the importance of discretion and privacy throughout this journey. Here are 5 tips to consider:
- Keep it Private: One fundamental piece of advice is to keep your personal life personal, especially during a divorce. In collaborative or consensual dispute resolution processes, confidentiality is a valuable aspect of the process. Your divorce is a private matter, and what you share on social media should reflect that. It is important that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse align on the narrative you wish to share with friends, family, and colleagues. This not only maintains privacy but also minimizes the potential for drama or complications in social interactions.
- Protect Your Children: Perhaps one of the most critical aspects of using social media during a divorce is protecting your children from unnecessary emotional turmoil. Imagine your child discovering the news of your divorce through a social media post on your device. This is not how you want your children to find out about such a significant life change. Children should be informed directly, thoughtfully, and with sensitivity by their parents, not by the digital world. Ideally, the two of you will tell your children together and be aligned on the information you will share with them.
- Avoid Oversharing: In litigation scenarios, social media can become a powerful source of evidence. Courts will consider posts, photos, and other online content as part of the divorce proceedings. Therefore, it’s essential to refrain from sharing excessive details about your divorce on social media. Avoid discussing financial matters, property disputes, or child custody issues. Remember, what you post can be used against you.
- Preserving Electronic Evidence: If you are in a litigious divorce process, be aware that you may be required to preserve electronic evidence, including social media content. Deleting or purging electronic evidence, even as part of routine practices, can lead to legal consequences if you’ve been served notice to preserve such data. Seek advice from legal experts to ensure compliance with preservation requirements.
- Beware of Digital Footprints: Digital devices hold a wealth of information, and even deleting content does not guarantee it’s gone forever. Modern forensic techniques can uncover deleted data, making it crucial to be cautious about what you store and share on your digital devices. This awareness should extend beyond social media and into your overall digital life.
While social media offers a platform for personal expression, it can be a double-edged sword during a divorce. My primary advice to clients is to prioritize privacy, discretion, and the emotional well-being of your children. Whether engaging in a collaborative divorce or facing litigation, you must be aware of the potential consequences of your digital actions. By following these guidelines, you can navigate social media with confidence, protecting your interests and preserving your privacy throughout the challenging divorce process.
Lisa R. Murray is an experienced Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Attorney. She can help you determine the goals for your divorce and work to a settlement that allows you to achieve those goals.
You can call her at 650-297-0367.