In the past, gathering information for divorce proceedings would involve either gathering the information yourself or hiring a private investigator. But now, with the ubiquity of social media in our daily lives, it's become easier than ever for both you and your ex to gather information that's considered admissible in court. Once the proceedings are underway, there are plenty of ways that using social media can either be used in your favor or used against you.
What can be used against me, and how?
When something happens in our lives, it only feels natural to want to share these updates with our friends. However, experts warn that there are several ways your posts can be used against you in divorce proceedings. One of these is in spousal support. If you or your ex are claiming to be unable to pay for spousal support due to financial hardship, but are then seen posting pictures of expensive new purchases or getaway trips to the Bahamas, you can be sure that these posts are admissible in court.
One thing to look out for are friend requests from people you don't know, especially those with no mutual friends, or people who have very little information about themselves listed on their profile. These are often dummy profiles set up with the intention of spying on you. Even if you've blocked your ex from all social media networks, there are still ways for your information to get out.
Another threat, or possible tool, lies in mutual friends. While you may be "friends" with people online, they may not actually be your friends, or have your best interests at heart. By taking sides in the divorce, experts have seen cases where mutual friends have passed along incriminating posts to those going through divorce proceedings, essentially nullifying any argument of financial hardship that the person might make.
Aside from merely hurting your wallet, what you post on social media during divorce proceedings can actually determine child custody if children are involved. Photos that show parental negligence are especially effective.
How can I stay protected?
The best way to prevent unwanted information from leaking is by not posting it. A good rule of thumb is to decide whether you'd be comfortable with what you're about to post being available to be seen forever. If not, you shouldn't post it.
Due to the potential pitfalls that can appear during the divorce process, it is important to protect your rights from the very beginning. The experienced family law attorneys at LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Patti LLC can protect your best interests, giving you the best chance of a fair and successful outcome.