Dangers of Social Media During a Divorce
Millions of people across the United States consistently document their lives on one or another social media platforms - or on multiple sites. While there certainly are benefits to taking full advantage of social media, there are some inherent risks as well. If you are heading towards an end to your marriage, you need to become fully aware of some specific dangers associated with using social media during divorce.
- Social media posts can be used against you in your divorce case
- When you post on social media, you lose control over what you post
- Don't count on social media "friends" having your back
- Social media posts can open door to other risks, including scams
One of the most widely used lines heard on television programs and in motion pictures is "what you say will be used against you in a court of law." In criminal proceedings, what you say can be used against in in a prosecution. The reality is that you can make statements - or upload posts to social media - that can be used against you in divorce proceedings.
At an incredible rate, evidence derived from social media posts is being used in divorce proceedings from coast to coast in the United States. This includes everything from written statements posted to social media to uploaded images.
You might think you have tight privacy settings in place for your social media accounts. The stark reality is that no matter how private you think you are in regard to your social media activity, you have not created an impenetrable barrier.
In a divorce case, you must expect opposing counsel to research your social media activity. If there is anything present on any of your social media accounts that can negatively impact your position in a divorce case, expect it to be found and used.
Due to the fact that social media can prove to be a proverbial treasure trove during divorce proceedings, a good percentage of divorce lawyers advise their clients to severely limit their time on social media or to stop using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like completely while divorce proceedings are pending.Loss of Control When You Post on Social Media
Many, many people operate under the misperception that if they post something on social media and then delete it, that item is gone and gone for good. In fact, even if you leave something up on social media for a minute or two, you run the risk of losing control of it forever.
All it takes is for someone else to take a screenshot of what you put up on your social media page. When that happens, your post - which you hoped to delete - can be circulated all over cyberspace in no time at all.
Even beyond divorce-related considerations, a wise course is to never post anything on social media that you would not want everyone to see - and that means everyone, including your spouse, children, and the judge in a court of law.Social Media Friends May Not be Reliable
Social media platforms like Facebook use the term "friends" with abandon. Perhaps when Facebook initially launched and signed up scores of people largely at one university, the term "friends" was more accurate. However, as a result of the global community created in cyberspace by Facebook, "friends" has taken on a whole new meaning.
You absolutely cannot rely on your so-called social media friends to have your back during divorce proceedings. Rather, you should be cautious and expect people connected to you on social media to pass posts and images on to your spouse or to take other steps which most definitely will not work in your favor.Other Risks that Rise from Social Media Posts
Broadcasting a pending divorce on social media can result in other risks as well. For example, you may be targeted by scammers, who lurk on the dark recesses of social media looking to strike out and take advantage of people perceived as vulnerable for one reason or another.
During your first appointment with your divorce lawyer, take the time to raise the issue of social media. Seek guidance from your divorce attorney about what you should and should not do on social media during your divorce proceedings. If you have a question concerning social media and divorce, contact the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400 for a free initial consultation.