During a divorce, experiencing various emotions such as sadness, anxiety and even anger is not unusual, and seeking sympathy and the emotional support from others is only natural. However, it is important to understand the difference between confiding in a few close friends versus sharing your thoughts and feelings with a few hundred acquaintances on social media.
The average person will spend nearly two hours on social media every day. We voluntary share information about everything we do, eat, feel or think. Unfortunately, sometimes we disregard the implications of how those expressive posts can impact us in the long-term.
In Colorado, if the post to a social media outlet can be authenticated and meets the requirements under the Colorado Rules of Evidence, then it can be introduced as an admission of the party. And, in some instances, these statements may place that person in a less advantageous position than if they had not made the statement and could have negative consequences in a divorce or custody action.
Tips Regarding Use of Social Media During A Divorce
1. Avoid comments about the other party or subject:
In some cases, divorce and custody actions can be a turbulent experience. It comes charged with many emotions and it is easy to make disparaging comments about the other party. Such statements made in a public forum not only increase the tension between the two parties but also can be hurtful to surrounding people, such as family, friends and the children involved in the controversy. Refraining from commenting on the nature of the controversy and refraining from disparaging the other party will not only save you from uncomfortable situations, but will aid in maintaining your image of a respectful ex and responsible parent.
2. Social Media Posts Can Affect Us Financially:
Before you start posting about your amazing single life of shopping sprees, dates, partying, exotic vacations and so on, consider how that might affect your settlement or custody agreement. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an uptick in the number of recent cases where social media evidence was used. Don’t ignore the fact that everything you publish on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it, gets shared among thousands of people and remains a virtual record for a long time. Expect that everything you post will be seen by the other party, that party’s attorney and potentially the Judge in your case.
3. Protect Your Emotional Health:
Out of the average two hours we spend on social media daily, surely some of that is dedicated to looking at other people’s lives. But for the sake of your emotional health, try to not obsess over your ex-partner’s posts, likes and new friendships. Many couples share their social media logins. Do not access the other party’s password-protected information. Focus, instead, on moving forward from the situation you are currently in for the sake of your emotional health as well as that of your children.
Social Media Privacy Recommendation During A Divorce
The best privacy recommendation you can follow is to think about long-term implications before posting anything in a public forum. Divorce and custody cases can be difficult and you are not the only one impacted by the situation – children, parents, friends can all see what you post and share and will be impacted by those posts. Remain respectful of yourself and everyone involved. If you have the urge to share something or need someone to listen, seek personal interactions with people you trust, in private settings. If you have any doubt of how information might affect your case, don’t post it and seek legal advice. Lastly, if social media is too big of a temptation, just deactivate your accounts for a period of time. You can always come back to your social media channels at a later date. Protect yourself from any unnecessary or negative attention.
Would you like to know more? Contact Denise M. Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-808-0012.