Family Law

Facebook and Divorce – Think before you post it

Using Facebook during a divorce carries a risk that you will post information that can be used against you during the proceedings.

If you are in the middle of a divorce, or are seriously considering filing for one, you should take a few moments to reflect on your relationship with some of your friends. Particularly your relationship with Facebook, as it may not prove to be much of a friend during your divorce.

For many people, Facebook and other types of social media, such as Twitter, are an essential part of communicating with your friends and family. You post important information and pictures, view posts from your friends, and use it as a means of tying together that network of competing interests and friends, many you may never have even seen since school

Permanent record

But you also do something else. You create a permanent record of your life in a timeline that can be seen by all. Unlike a text or an e-mail that can be deleted after the event, a facebook or Twitter post is there to stay and things said in the heat of the moment could come back to haunt you.

The immediacy of social media produces an unedited version of everything.

Think before you post.

Only think of it this way, “Anything you post on Facebook can and will be used against you in a divorce court.” A stupid post or tweet, made when you are upset, takes on a life of its own, and once the genie is out of the bottle, you may never be able to get it back in.

Something as innocent as pictures from a holiday or fancy dinner with your new “friend” could later be used to damage your credibility when it comes to issues of maintenance, child residence or the division of marital property. How many times have people been caught out saying they are broke, only to find they have posted pictures of themselves on a 5 star Caribbean beach holiday a few weeks before a final hearing. Evidence like that is going to go down a treat with a Judge, and it won’t be in your favour.

Think before you post

If you feel you must maintain your social media presence during a divorce, take a moment before you post to consider how it would look projected on a cinema screen for all and sundry to see and imagine the impression a casual viewer would get , before you press the submit button.

A recent survey in 2009 by Texas based divorce website Divorce-Online found that as many as 1 in 4 of petitions flowing through their systems had mentioned the word Facebook, highlighting, perhaps the ubiquitous nature of the platform to interject itself in our ever day lives.

Mark Keenan writes on subjects such as divorce and the effects of Social media