The Impact Of Social Media On Divorce

Social Media And Divorce

Social media has become an integral part of all our daily lives, influencing how we communicate, share information and interact with friends and family.

While it has its benefits, social media platforms also present some unique challenges to couples and families.

Indeed, many studies have found links between social media use and decreased marriage quality, with one study predicting that people who do not use social media are 11 percent happier in their marriages than people that regularly use social media.

In this article, we’ll explore the impacts of social media on marriage and divorce, and how to navigate these apps if you’re going through a separation.

Social media posts can be used against you in divorce cases

Despite the open nature of social media, many people still don’t realise that their posts and photos can be used as evidence in family court proceedings.

When dealing with injunctions, social media posts can be used to prove or disprove abusive or threatening behaviour.

They can also be used to demonstrate that children are at risk of abuse or neglect.

And it is not just public posts that have been used in divorce cases. Direct messages can also find their way into the courts. For this reason, it is sensible to expect that any communication via social media could become public during court proceedings.

A divorce can be an emotionally fraught experience, and while it may be tempting to use social media to tell your side of the story, it is always sensible to take a deep breath and consider the implications.

How should you use social media?

There’s no need to delete all your apps immediately. There are steps you can take to negate risk and protect your family.

Change your passwords

When a relationship breaks down it makes sense to change all your social media and digital passwords to prevent your former partner from accessing your accounts.

And the same is true for yourself.

Do not be tempted to access any digital account of a former partner.

There are legal implications for doing so if the victim is inclined to pursue the matter further.

Check your privacy settings

Most social media platforms allow you to control who can view your profile and posts.

Adjust privacy settings to restrict access to your profile.

Limit who can see your posts and prevent others from tagging you in photos or comments without your approval.

This will protect your privacy and prevent people taking screenshots from your timelines.

Be respectful and think before posting

Maintain a respectful online presence throughout your divorce process.

Avoid making negative remarks about your spouse or discussing the details of your divorce on social media.

This negates the risk of saying something that could be used against you in court and protects your children from viewing hurtful content about their parents.

Before sharing any posts or photos on social media, take a moment to consider the potential legal and emotional implications.

Posts on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook have been used in court cases to demonstrate excessive spending and as evidence of income.

Do not discuss legal matters

Never post or discuss legal matters or information about your divorce proceedings on any social media platform.

This could jeopardise your divorce case and only serves to inflame an already difficult situation.

Keep your counsel and only discuss sensitive information with your legal team.

Don’t react

In one of the above points, we recommend being respectful and thinking before posting.

But what if your spouse, or anyone else for that matter, posts something sensitive about your divorce online?

Again, please stop and think before responding.

It may be that a particular post has legal implications and that responding in haste would weaken your case.

In such instances, we recommend stepping back and seeking professional legal advice.

Final thoughts

While it may be tempting to vent your frustrations on social media, there is nothing to gain from doing so.

And although there may be advantages to deactivating your social accounts for a period of time, if you take the necessary steps to protect your privacy and avoid posting anything that could used against you, then you should be able to continue using these platforms without any negative implications.