By Christine Fitzgerald, Esq.
When used appropriately, social media can be extremely helpful in promoting yourself and your business and in staying updated on your community. But when you’re involved in a family law matter, social media has numerous dangers that all parties involved need to watch out for.
If you don’t want to take a hiatus from social media while you are going through a divorce, we’ve developed a list of top tips to help avoid the nasty pitfalls of social media during this time:
Think Before You Post: This is perhaps the most important rule. Before you start posting about your luxurious vacation during a post-judgment application to increase your child support, or about your fun night out during a hotly contested custody battle, just don’t.
Don’t Delete: Although you can unfriend your co-parent or ex-spouse, you cannot delete content from your social media account. That is called spoilage. If you delete any content from your social media, the Court is allowed to take a negative inference against you regarding the deleted content.
Check Your Privacy Settings: Ensure that you have the appropriate privacy setting on your social media accounts so that you can control who is seeing your social media content and what content is being shared with you.
Click Unfriend: If you and the other party are embodied in a contested litigation, unfriend him or her. (Extra tip: Don’t forget to also unfriend their friends and family.)
Coordinate With Your Friends and Family: You should absolutely let your friends and family know that you would like them to be careful about what content they are posting about you on social media, especially if the other party is friends with your friends and family.
Remember That Family Comes First: Even though you may be on good terms with the other party’s relative, remember that family comes first in most cases. If you are still posting during your divorce, be mindful of what information you are sharing online.
Don’t Badmouth: Under no circumstances should you, your friend, your new significant other, or your family badmouth or say anything negative online about the other party, the children, the other party’s attorney, the judge, the mediator, the other party’s family or friends, or anyone involved in the case.
Keep Things Confidential: The communication between you and your attorney is confidential and protected by attorney client privilege. Do not share this communication with the social media world. There is no need to tell the whole world a play-by-play of the details of your litigation either.
Look Out For the Children: If you have never posted pictures of or information about your children on social media before, now is not the time to start.
We at Seiden Family Law, LLC are happy to help you or someone you know determine what is and what is not appropriate for social media during a divorce litigation. Social media can be fun when used in the right way but not being careful during this difficult time can have a not-so-fun outcome.