Social media impacts nearly every aspect of American life. Celebrities, places of business and almost every American have a presence on social media, sharing photos and interacting with friends and family.
Though engaging with these sites may seem harmless, social media posts can significantly impact legal proceedings, including divorce. Before posting, individuals should carefully consider the potential implications.
5 tips to prevent problematic posts
Social media offers people a fantastic opportunity to connect with distant friends and relatives and feel involved in their daily lives. People also use social media to express frustrations or post complaints, looking for support from friends and family. People value the connections these networks promote but overlook the publicity of some very personal posts.
When going through civil litigation, including divorce, follow these posting rules:
- No insults: Complaining about a spouse or their actions can help people find support during an emotionally challenging time. If a person posts something damaging or even slightly untrue about one’s spouse during their divorce, they risk a libel suit or compromise child custody.
- No location pinging or checking in: Many spouses file for divorce because of an abusive partner. If a person fears for their safety, they should refrain from checking in at locations or posting information about their whereabouts.
- Clearly define social circles: Even if a person blocks their spouse and family, many couples have mixed social circles. Posts intended to be private may find their way to a spouse through shared friends. Know who will see a post before publishing.
- Consider public activity: Spouses who spend a night out with friends may find their pictures used against them in court. An opportunistic lawyer can take an unfortunate photo as evidence of an individual’s character, especially in suits involving infidelity.
- Close the accounts: The best way to avoid problematic posts is by temporarily shutting down all social media accounts. Closing accounts eliminates any risk to one’s divorce and keeps the battle in the courtroom.
Considering divorce? Bring questions to an attorney
Those with questions about other ways to protect themselves during their divorce can find answers with a local lawyer familiar with Ohio divorce laws. An attorney can assess a suit, build a defense and draft divorce agreements.