Can social media hurt my divorce case?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2020 | Firm News |

Social media is a great place to share your feelings about world events or even your own personal life. When a couple is going through a divorce, these platforms can have a poor effect when used inappropriately. 

In court, social media can be used as evidence. That means any inflammatory messages you make about your former spouse online could come back to haunt you. It might even negatively impact your case, causing you to lose out on custody decisions, alimony, and other issues. Here are a few ways you can use social media wisely during divorce proceedings. 

Do all of your venting offline 

It is natural to feel frustrated during the divorce process. Perhaps you feel as though you are not being treated fairly by your former spouse or you are frustrated about their abilities as a parent. When you make posts online to this effect, they do not always have the intended outcome. In fact, the court may view you to be combative or unfit as a parent if it determines you are increasing conflict. 

When making decisions about custody, judges aim to do what is best for the child or children at the center of the case. When one parent is determined to be in the way of the other having a healthy relationship with their kids, it can impact the outcome of custody cases. It may also diminish your parental fitness in the eyes of the court, even if you are justified in your complaints. 

Do not flaunt a new relationship until the divorce has been finalized 

There is nothing wrong with pursuing a new romantic relationship after your divorce. It can be healthy for a person to seek out new companions, as long as you’ve healed from your experience and are ready to move forward in a positive manner. However, talking about new romantic interests while the divorce is ongoing can be detrimental. 

This is especially true if there are allegations of infidelity. Your former spouse may claim these postings are evidence that you were unfaithful, particularly if you are already dating a short time after divorce has been filed. Adultery can be cited as a cause for divorce in Illinois, although the state combines fault and no-fault aspects. 

Do not post about purchases you have made 

In addition to questions about fidelity, financial issues are also at the heart of many divorce cases. When splitting shared property, both parties are expected to be open and honest about their assets. This is not always the case, as some people attempt to hide assets in order to prevent them from being divided up. 

Imagine one spouse claims a massive amount of debt, which prevents him or her from giving up an equal share of assets. Despite these claims, the spouse posts on Facebook that he just purchased a brand-new sports car. His ex can present the post in court as evidence that assets are being hidden. Hidden assets are considered very serious, with some instances punished by jail time.