Social media and divorce are a difficult combination for many people. People today often do not give a second thought to what they post on social media — at least not from a legal perspective.
Here are a few common examples of social media and divorce:
- You are partying with friends at a picnic, are with your new boyfriend and are drinking cocktails. You brought your kids along with you. Your friends take a snapshot and post it on Facebook to show how well you are holding up during your divorce. People love seeing others having a great time, right?
- Your husband upset you when discussing divorce and you text your best friend to vent your emotions. You explain how awful the marriage is, how much you hate your husband, and how you will do everything you can to keep the children from him and get as much money out of him as you can for spousal support. Your good friend commiserates with you. Afterward, you no longer feel so angry toward your husband and venting through the text helped you get through a tough time, right? Your husband sees the text because your family devices are synced.
A Real Life Case that Involved Social Media and Divorce
What you may think is reasonable about your social life is often not how the court sees it or how a divorce case is argued in court.
According to Familylawyermagazine.com, (in 2013) text messaging was the most common form of divorce evidence. While a text may reflect your fleeting mood, a digital device records and immortalizes it. It can be used as evidence in court to argue that you are alienating your children from the other spouse and that you are vindictive and out for revenge. Judges often award child custody to the parent who is willing to make an effort to get along with the other parent and who has the children’s best interests in mind.
In the case Harris vs Harris, the wife Melanie Harris used her husband’s Facebook posts as evidence that he had threatened her, had kept her from seeing their child and refused to give her information about the child. The child stayed with his girlfriend frequently while he traveled.
Likewise, seeing parents drinking and partying with a new love interest before divorce is final does not generally bode well for the parent engaging in this behavior. Judges tend to view these situations negatively.
It is important to consider social media and divorce. As soon as you begin to consider divorce, get in touch with an experienced lawyer for legal help so you can avoid the pitfalls that lead to unfavorable outcomes.