As technology advances, as does the amount of accounts we have and the amount of time we spend on those accounts. The more time we spend on social media, the less time we spend with our families, friends and spouses.
Social media platforms may have major impacts on the divorce process. If you and your spouse litigate, your private text messages may be available to the public. The posts you write on social media platforms may affect how you and your spouse interact in and out of court.
Your post or text message may only take a few seconds to write, and only a second to share or send, but taking a few more moments to think about the message before you post or send it can positively impact the outcome of your divorce.
Think before you speak is an old, but true, adage. It’s important to think before you send a text message or post on social media not only during your marriage, but also during the divorce process. Some spouses include in their prenuptial agreements rules for how they will handle their social media accounts in the event of a divorce.
Avoid revealing personal and intimate details of your marriage and divorce on social media. If you need to vent, talk to your close family members, friends, therapist or attorney.
Revealing these details via social media not only allows the public to learn about personal details of your marriage, but it also allows your spouse to use these against you in court.
It’s unlikely that every single one of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers needs to know about the details of your divorce. This not only gives your spouse the chance to show these posts to a judge, but it also gives your spouse the opportunity to respond. By revealing the details of your divorce to the public, your Facebook friends or Instagram followers may also comment on your posts. It’s best to keep the details of your divorce as far away from social media as possible.
If you have children, they may also see these posts. You may not want your children to know all of the details of your divorce. However, by posting the information on social media, your children may be able to view them. Even if you don’t have children, your professional circle of friends may also see these posts. Think before you post.
If you want to avoid drama between you and your spouse, avoid posting on social media. It may be your first response to post on social media or send your spouse an anger-filled text message. However, one text or one post may have serious negative impacts. One text turns into several, and one post may turn into several other commenters posting their opinion online. These responses may cause your spouse to react, which will only cause more problems in court.
To avoid drama in and out of the courtroom, think before you send a text and before you share a post. Open up the Notes application on your phone or Microsoft Word on your computer. Type out everything you want to say, but don’t share it for the entire world to read.
The entire world wasn’t involved in your marriage, and doesn’t need to hear about the details of your divorce.
Linda Piff is an experienced family lawyer, divorce mediator and collaborative law attorney, based on Wall. She is past chair of the New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups, founder and past president of Jersey Shore Collaborative Practice Group and Collaborative Divorce Professionals of New Jersey. Piff is co-author of “Inside the Minds: Developing A Collaborative Law Practice.”