By J. Christopher Lombardo, Florida Family Law Attorney
Social media has a lot to offer, but if you are facing a divorce, engaging on social media platforms may possibly do more harm than good to your case. Turn to the dedicated divorce attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. to help you successfully navigate social media during your divorce.
If you are facing a divorce, the nuances of social media may be the last thing on your mind. However, social media has become a primary way of sharing our thoughts, feelings, and major life transitions, which makes your divorce a prime candidate for becoming a topic on your social media posts. Understanding best practices as they relate to social media hygiene can help to ensure that your posts on social media during your divorce do not detrimentally impact your case. The experienced divorce attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo in Florida (at 239-649-6555 in Naples or at 239-394-5161 on Marco Island) have the legal insight and drive to help effectively and efficiently guide your case toward its most favorable resolution.
Social Media Connects Us
Most of us turn to social media platforms to connect with others on a fairly regular basis. In fact, most adults in the United States have a presence on at least one of the following social media platforms:
The global pandemic that we have all been forced to endure has increased our need for virtual connections, and social media usage is on the rise as a result. If you are headed toward divorce, however, it is important to remain aware of your social media usage and to proceed with caution.
Social Media and Privacy
The most important point that can be made about social media is that nothing you post on it should be considered private – regardless of how vigilant you are with your privacy settings. All it takes is one screenshot for a post or photo to be memorialized forever, which means that soul-baring posts you shared under the strictest privacy could end up as evidence in your divorce case. In other words, social media posts should always take the most prudent approach. When it comes to social media during your divorce, the experienced Florida divorce attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo have the legal savvy to help you understand what you should and should not post on your social media platforms.
How Social Media Can Harm Your Case
Posting on social media – and even commenting on other people’s posts – can harm your divorce case in a variety of specific ways that you may not have even considered.
Your posts, regardless of how neutral you consider them, could unintentionally provoke your divorcing spouse. In the end, the less contentious and more amicable you can keep your divorce, the better it is for everyone involved (including your children). If you do not post anything on social media, you do not run the risk of accidentally turning up the heat on your divorce.
Sharing More Than You Intended
If you know anything about social media, you know that things can quickly be blown out of proportion and that posts can take on lives of their own. For example, the series of photos you posted depicting you raising a celebratory glass of wine at your beloved niece’s high school graduation could be misconstrued to signify that you embrace a party lifestyle (even if this is far from the reality of the situation). Further, if you have embraced a party lifestyle, now – while you are moving toward a divorce and are advocating for your parental and financial rights – is a very good time to tone it down and to take a break from social media during your divorce.
Sending Mixed Messages
Your divorce hinges on the terms involved, including:
- The equitable division of your marital property
- Child sharing and visitation
- Child Support
- Alimony (or spousal support)
In total, these reflect your parental and financial rights moving forward, and protecting both is paramount. If you are posting anything on social media that sends a mixed message regarding any of these divorce terms, it can do considerable harm. Consider the following examples:
- Posting photos of your lavish lifestyle may impact your ability to obtain the spousal support you are requesting.
- Documenting your proclivity to party may impact your bid for primary custody of your children. It is important to note that Florida bases all decisions that affect children on the best interests of those children.
- Badmouthing your spouse on social media – regardless of how justified you may be – demonstrates to the court that you are not invested in diminishing the animosity between you and your children’s other parent, which can potential impact your child custody rights.
- Sharing pictures and/or posts about your new love interest can also damage your divorce case. Although Florida is a no-fault divorce state, adultery can still potentially impact the outcome of your divorce.
Social Media Hygiene
Divorce is difficult by every measure, and it is easy enough to lose your way in the vast social media landscape that is so readily available. Fortunately, however, there are some tips that can help you stay the course and navigate social media successfully throughout your divorce, including:
- Refrain from changing your relationship status to single until your divorce is behind you. There is no reason to conjure hard feelings while your divorce is pending.
- Do not discuss your divorce (or allude to it) on social media (far better to be safe than sorry).
- Remember that posts and pictures that reference you (on other people’s accounts) can also harm your case. Encourage your friends, family members, and loved ones to refrain from posting pictures that include you or messages about you.
- If you would not want your divorcing spouse’s attorney or the judge in your case to see the picture or read the post, give it a pass.
- Do not ever delete anything you post – even if you have regrets about it. This could be seen by the court as obstruction of justice and an attempt to destroy evidence in your divorce case.
Reach out to an Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney Today
The accomplished divorce attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo – proudly serving Southwest Florida – have a wealth of impressive experience guiding divorce cases like yours toward optimal outcomes, and we are here for you too. For more information, please do not wait to contact or call us at (239) 649-6555 (in Naples) or 239-394-5161 (on Marco Island) today.