If you are going through a divorce, it is wise to be very particular about how and when you use social media. Depending on the platform you use, you may be inadvertently revealing information that could hurt your case in court.
Here are some basic tips:
Don’t post anything that is blatantly inappropriate or that can create an unwanted impression of your finances. Even if you mean it to be a joke, it can make you appear less fit as a parent if you are involved in a custody hearing. Also, if you are posting about your leisure activities, it can make you appear as if you have a substantial amount of extra money available to spend.
- Facebook: Be very careful about which pictures you post to your profile. If you are claiming that you lack sufficient income, posting photos of yourself going on lavish vacations, attending Broadway shows or dining at expensive restaurants on a regular basis can undermine your claim.
If you assert that you are unable to take your children on a given night because you have something important to do, but then post a photo of yourself at a bar or out dancing on that same night, it could appear to the Court that your children are not your first priority, and could adversely affect your request for custody.
Keep in mind: Even if your spouse does not have a personal Facebook account, this will not protect you. Your spouse’s friends or family could be “Friends” with anyone that you are “Friends” with and may be able to view your pictures and report them to your spouse.
- Match.com: Be judicious about what information you place in your profile. For example, if you have a history of alcohol abuse or a gambling addiction, putting items in your profile indicating that you are a social drinker or take monthly trips to Atlantic City would probably be unwise.
- LinkedIn: Consider how the employment information you list may affect your case. If you are claiming an inability to get a job that pays a certain amount of money, but you list yourself as currently having a very good job, or bolster your credentials to the extent that it appears as if you could easily obtain a highly paid position, it will cast doubt upon the credibility of your claim that you cannot afford to live without a certain amount of support (if you are the “non-monied” spouse), or in the converse (if you are the “monied” spouse), that you cannot afford to pay a certain amount of support.
At the outset of your case, you should sit down and have a discussion with your divorce attorney about how you currently use social media and discuss how your usage may be problematic.
Who is watching you on your network?
By Debra L. Rubin Esq.