What Should You Do with Social Media When Divorcing?

social media when divorcing Are you in the midst of divorce proceedings or considering ending your marriage? If so, you are likely experiencing a range of emotions. While the beginning of relationships, including marriages, are filled with excitement and joy, a divorce is often just the opposite. Depending upon the circumstances that caused your marriage to end, you may be angry, upset, stressed, overwhelmed, or have a combination of these feelings.

Today, more than ever before, we tend to communicate electronically, including via social media. We post pictures of our children and pets, our political beliefs, vacation plans, and relationship statuses. However, we may not consider how these posts can impact decisions we make in the future. If you wonder what you should do with social media when you go through a divorce, assume that anything and everything you post can be used against you. What you post may be admissible during your divorce proceedings.

While you may be tempted to share your feelings regarding your ex (or soon-to-be ex) on your social media pages, you may want to think twice. You could hurt the outcome of your divorce.

In general, it is wise to communicate carefully — just because you think something, doesn’t mean it should be posted on social media. During a divorce, this is even more true. Our divorce attorney at Amsberry Law Firm can provide advice on communicating throughout your divorce proceedings. Contact the firm at (210) 354-2244 to get answers to your questions.

Can Social Media Posts Be Used in a Divorce?

What You Post on Your Social Media Can Be Used Against You

Because Texas is a no-fault divorce state (Title 1.C. Chap. 6.A. §6.001), neither your social media posts nor those of your spouse can be grounds for divorce. However, that does not give you carte blanche to share your feelings electronically.  Before you make social posts, consider some of the consequences. The fact that social posts cannot be grounds for divorce doesn’t mean they won’t negatively impact your divorce.

The temptation to share your feelings can cause problems later for your divorce process, including issues surrounding child custody, child support, and spousal support. It is important to refrain from making posts related to your divorce. You should also avoid making posts about any topic that may indirectly relate to your divorce or that could affect the outcome of your divorce proceedings.

Anything you post publicly may be used against you. Avoid any urges to air your frustrations, anger, sorrow, or even joy related to your divorce.

Posting your feelings on social media may provide you a bit of relief, and perhaps sympathy from your friends. However, your social media posts can also get back to your soon-to-be ex. Before you know it, what seemed like a smooth divorce process becomes more divisive and, in turn, more time-consuming and expensive. No one likes to be the subject of another’s accusatory or derogatory posts. As a result, these posts can lead to a response that heightens emotions and could harm your divorce process. Airing your feelings online may create obstacles in your divorce and may result in your getting a less favorable outcome.

Additionally, sharing personal information (including your dating habits, psychological well-being, and anger) on social media can also be damaging, particularly if you have children. You could not only harm yourself in divorce proceedings, but potentially harm child custody or child support agreement negotiations. Social posts regarding excessive spending could impact alimony and child support, too. If you seem overly emotional and unstable in communications with your ex or in your online postings, a judge may question your ability to appropriately care for your children. Can social media posts be used in a divorce? Yes. While they may not be directly cited in the divorce proceedings, they can still impact the outcome of your divorce.

Social Media Tips

What Should You Not Post on Social Media When Filing for a Divorce?

In general, avoid posting on social media if you are in divorce proceedings or planning on pursuing this action. Controlling what you post can be difficult. Even more challenging, and perhaps impossible, is predicting the interpretation of and responses to your words. Remember, you can only control your actions, not others’ thoughts. Even an innocent Instagram snap of you at a party holding a glass of wine can be misconstrued by your ex and his or her attorney. And, because posts are short and brief snapshots in time, they are always open for interpretation. It’s best not to post at all.

If you can’t bring yourself to stop posting, consider avoiding these topics:

  • Negative words or feelings about your spouse, or your spouse’s family or friends
  • Your divorce case
  • Questionable behaviors, including drinking, drugs (even where legal), pictures at parties, etc.
  • Lifestyle choices, including vacations, shopping, and new partners.

Truly, you don’t want to communicate anything that can be misunderstood and then used against you.

Should I Delete Social Media During a Divorce?

When you understand that social media posts with friends, family, and acquaintances can be damaging and used against you in a divorce, your first thought may be to delete certain posts or even your entire account. Fight this impulse because it can do more harm than good.

Do not delete any of your social media posts until you have spoken with your divorce attorney.

It is important to remember that deleting a post from your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or disabling your Instagram permanently, does not remove the information from Cyberspace.

You cannot erase history. Further, your spouse (or his or her family or friends) may also have taken screenshots of your accounts. When you delete them, it looks like you are trying to hide evidence.

What Should You Do With Your Social Media When Divorcing?

Clearly, there are a number of things you should avoid when it comes to the intersection of social media and divorce. That said, there are other issues of which you should be aware and some very important steps to take. Consider these:

Change Your Passwords

Even though you and your ex may not share social media or telephone accounts, it is likely that he or she knows your passwords and has access to them. Take some time and change all of your passwords (and don’t forget your email). This is a great time to pick something new and unique to you, not something that your ex-spouse may figure out (like your children’s or pet’s names). You want to keep your accounts secure.

Check Your Privacy Settings

Make sure that all your accounts, including access to your photos, are private. You must control who has access to your information. Double-check all settings on your cell phone.

Monitor Friend Requests Carefully

Be selective in accepting new friends and followers. You don’t know who is “on your side” or who may be stalking your profile.

Avoid Private Chats

The chat feature in Facebook and Instagram may seem private, but it’s not as secure as you may think. Additionally, messages sent via chat or messaging may be subpoenaed. It’s just better to avoid using these options.

Spread the Word

Ask your friends and family to refrain from referring to your personal situation on any and all social media, including chats. Additionally, remind them not to post about your children, you, or your ex in any capacity. It’s not just what is posted on your wall that matters — what others post can affect you as well.

Tell everyone you know to avoid engaging with your soon-to-be-ex, or his or her family and friends, in any social media forum.

Divorce, Social Media, and Moving Forward

Ask Your Divorce Attorney

We rely on social media to communicate in today’s fast-paced and digitally focused environment. Social media and electronic communication have become increasingly complex in recent years. Knowing how to manage it during times of divorce can be confusing.

Your divorce lawyer is your best resource when it comes to managing your accounts and communicating appropriately during this very sensitive time.  In general, not posting is usually your best choice.  However, you should reach out to your attorney with questions and guidance regarding your specific case.

With 25 years of experience, the divorce attorney at Amsberry Law Firm has an in-depth understanding of Texas law and is well-versed in advising clients regarding their communication methods and social media footprint. The firm always goes the extra mile in serving its clients. If you need advice and counsel regarding your divorce and how to move forward, contact us today at (210) 354-2244.

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Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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