These days, most people are active on at least one social media account. In 2018, for example, Facebook had 2.32 billion active users. Twitter had 321 million users, and Instagram boasted nearly 1 billion users.
While social media can be a great tool for staying connected with friends, family, and colleagues, it can also cause problems when you’re involved in a legal dispute, including a divorce.
This situation is especially true if your divorce in North Carolina involves complex finances or a child custody matter. Unfortunately, people looking at your social media posts may take things out of context, or they might rely on one post or photo to make assumptions about your parenting choices or lifestyle.
The experienced divorce attorneys at the Raleigh law firm of Vitale Family Law suggest a few things to keep in mind when it comes to using social media during a divorce.
Social Media Dos and Don’ts for Divorce
Just because you’re going through a divorce doesn’t mean you have to shut down your social life or delete all of your social media accounts.
However, it’s usually in your best interest to be careful about what you share online with the world. Here are five tips to help you make smarter choices regarding how you use social media during the divorce process.
Be Careful About Photos with Significant Others
If you and your ex are arguing about things like child custody or visitation, it might not be a good idea to share a lot of photos of yourself on dates with a new partner. In this instance, perception is everything.
You don’t want to let your social media post become an excuse for your ex-spouse to claim you’re constantly “out partying,” or introducing new partners into your child’s life without consulting with your ex.
Sharing details about a new romance on social media could also potentially impact alimony in your case. If your social media posts make it seem like you’re living with a new partner or sharing expenses with someone, your ex might try to argue that you aren’t entitled to alimony.
Don’t Post About Your Ex
As the old saying goes, if you can’t say something nice, it’s best not to say anything at all. Avoid making comments of any kind about your ex on social media, including discussions about how they parent.
While it might feel better to vent online about the frustrations of a divorce, this can often come back to haunt you down the road. Instead, it’s much safer to confide in a therapist or a trusted friend offline.
Be Cautious When Posting About New Purchases
If you and your ex are trying to decide which person should pay debts or take responsibility for big items like mortgage or vehicle payments, be careful about sharing information online about things you buy.
Posting photos or information about new purchases can make it appear you’re spending frivolously or have enough cash to take on more debt than you actually do. Your ex might also make the argument you don’t need alimony if you’re buying a new car or purchasing a new wardrobe.
Don’t Count on Privacy Settings to Keep Your Account Private
As the past couple of years have shown, social media companies aren’t always reliable when it comes to honoring their users’ privacy settings. Companies like Facebook have been called out for sharing user data in a variety of illicit ways.
When you post a photo online, you might think you’re sharing it with your friends on social media and no one else. However, this doesn’t stop your friends from tagging, commenting, or sharing your photo online with their friends. Before you know it, your post could be viewed by thousands of people. It’s almost impossible to remove something once it’s online, which is why an experienced Raleigh divorce attorney will tell you not to rely on social media privacy settings.
Avoid Discussing Your Case Online
A good rule of thumb for social media and divorce is this: When in doubt, don’t post. People can take things they see and read online out of context and make their own assumptions. Once you post something online, it’s subject to the reader’s interpretation and can lead to problems in a divorce case.
As you go through the divorce process, it’s best to keep your divorce out of your social media feed. If people ask about the divorce, you can simply state that you’ll speak to them offline or in person. Once it’s made clear that you won’t talk about your divorce on the internet, it won’t take long for other people to respect your wishes.
Get Help from a North Carolina Divorce Lawyer
If you’re considering a divorce, it’s best to speak with a North Carolina family law attorney about your case. No divorce is easy, but it’s possible to go through the divorce process without frustration or unnecessary expense. An experienced Raleigh divorce lawyer at Vitale Family Law in Raleigh, NC can explain your options and help you make informed decisions about your case. Get in touch with Vitale Family Law by calling (919) 841-5680 or schedule a consultation.