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5 Ways to Hurt Your Divorce with Social Media

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” the adage goes. It’s especially true when it comes to legal issues like divorce – particularly in contentious cases.  Studies over the past 5 years have tied social media to divorce as one of the leading causes. In 2012, a survey by Divorce-Online UK showed that Facebook was linked to about 1/3 of divorce filings in 2011.

To avoid this, your best bet is to suspend, cancel, and shut down all of your social media accounts throughout a divorce. However, if you need to keep your accounts, following a few simple guidelines will help avoid some of these problems.

  1. Resist the urge to “vague-book”. You know what we mean, those song lyrics, quotes, or just rants where you aren’t specifically naming someone… but everyone knows who it is. It doesn’t just reflect poorly on you, it could be used against you in courts. You don’t want a moment of venting to be a reason why you’re being portrayed as “unstable” and ruining your custody arrangement.
  2. Filter and pare down your friend list. Your partner’s friends may not be your friends at this time. People often take sides in messy divorces and you don’t want your social posts to be reported or misinterpreted by your ex’s friends.
  3. Get rid of location tagging. Your every move is going to be monitored and analyzed and even an innocent happy hour with your coworkers could be misconstrued later. Don’t check in anywhere and keep your whereabouts to yourself.
  4. Don’t disclose your relationship status. Your Facebook status doesn’t determine your status in real life. A misstep is this area could lead to annoying complications.
  5. Keep a low profile. Even innocuous statuses could lead to problems. This is particularly relevant in the financial breakdown of the divorce. The financial situation you are telling the courts should match what you are portraying online. You’ll be in trouble if you claim to be too broke for a certain level of child support when your new Rolex watch shows up in a picture on Facebook.

Regardless of how you choose to handle social media during your divorce, use common sense. It’s an emotional time, and being sensitive and discreet is always the best course of action. Anything you say and do will be recorded online forever for your children, future employers, and potential romantic interests to see.

If you’ve already dug yourself into a hole, consider getting a good divorce attorney to help you save face and your case.