Ending a marriage can be an isolating and overwhelming experience. Determining new living arrangements, dividing property and negotiating child support terms are time-intensive tasks that are highly personal as well. It’s a draining process even in amicable situations.
Getting support from friends and loved ones can help you get through this tough time, but you need to be smart when reaching out. Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms make it easy to connect with others. However, the posts you leave on these sites can severely damage your standing in divorce proceedings.
Before you post, consider these consequences
Divorce attorneys know that adults turn to social media in divorce. They count on their clients’ exes to post compromising evidence online, which can then be taken out of context and used against you when you are negotiating these agreements:
Child custody agreements
Did you share a round of drinks with friends at home or a favorite bar? Attorneys can use pictures of you drinking to question your parenting style or ability. Your ex could have the upper hand in determining the terms of your custody agreement.
Child or spousal support agreements
Did you decide to take that much-needed weekend away? Facebook notifies friends of your whereabouts through its location service. Attorneys can reference these trips to spas or hotels in child or spousal support negotiations, claiming that you have more disposable income than you may have declared. You could be required to pay more in support or may receive less than your fair share.
Property and asset division agreements
Did you treat yourself to a new car or piece of jewelry to celebrate your change in marital status? Photos of expensive purchases can draw fire during your property and asset negotiation. You could pay dearly if your ex’s attorney establishes that you misused marital funds.
When you feel isolated during your divorce, your first impulse may be to update a profile image, share your thoughts for the day or discuss your recent successes. As difficult as it is, you should ignore that impulse. Share your recent successes in person with a trusted friend. This offline encounter can improve your state of mind and help you maintain your leverage during negotiations.