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  • Cindy Wysocki

Social media use during divorce or custody proceedings.

Social media use during divorce or custody proceedings can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case. It is crucial to be mindful of your online activities and how they may be perceived by the court, the other party involved, and potentially even your children. Here are some key considerations regarding social media use during a divorce or custody situation:

  1. Privacy settings: Review and adjust your privacy settings on all social media platforms to ensure that you have control over who can see your posts and personal information. However, it's important to remember that even with privacy settings, nothing is entirely foolproof. Anyone who can access your social media can screenshot, save and repost your post. Exercise caution about what you post or share online and if you find yourself wondering whether or not you should post it – don’t post it!

  2. Avoid airing grievances: Refrain from using social media as a platform to vent frustrations or publicly discuss issues related to your divorce or custody battle. Negative posts or comments, especially about the other parent, can be used against you in court and may damage your credibility or perceived fitness as a parent. If what you’re planning to post is not something you would want held against you in a courtroom, it’s best to hold back. Although the temptation to “get even” or be petty is sometimes almost too much to resist, take a moment to pause and think about the many ways in which your post could reflect negatively on you. You may even want to consider how it may look to your children and the emotional impact it will have on them to read your private thoughts regarding the legal issues – in almost every case, it won’t be worth it. Practice the “pause” before you post.

  3. Think twice before posting: Consider the potential implications of your posts before sharing them. Content that portrays you engaging in inappropriate behavior, using substances, or questionable parenting practices can be used as evidence against you. Odds are that even if you have blocked your ex-spouse, there could be mutual friends you two share who could be relaying information they see to your ex-spouse. You may even find that an ex-spouse has created alternate accounts to keep tabs on you. Keep these things in mind before posting to help you make smart choices during this time.

  4. Be mindful of pictures and tags: Photos and tags can provide evidence and context to your activities. Avoid posting or being tagged in pictures that may be interpreted negatively. Things are not always as they seem on social media, but nonetheless, anything that may be perceived as a threat to your case should be avoided. Keep yourself out of the spotlight right now.

  5. Online harassment or threats: Do not use social media as a means to harass or threaten your ex-spouse or anyone involved in the proceedings. Such actions can result in legal consequences and reflect poorly on your character. Even if you are on the receiving end of harassment or threats – refrain from retaliatory posts. Taking the high road on this issue specifically will benefit you and your children in the long run. With that said, if you are experiencing concerning levels of harassment or threats which make you feel unsafe, please contact law enforcement and report it.

  6. Consider a temporary break: In some cases, it may be beneficial to take a temporary break from social media altogether until the divorce or custody case is resolved. This can minimize the risk of making impulsive or damaging posts that could harm your case. When you’re in the throes of what will likely be the most emotionally charged time of your life, you’re at an increased risk of acting in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. Be gentle with yourself and remember that it’s ok to take a step back from things to ground yourself and stay focused on you and your children.

  7. Communicate privately: Instead of discussing sensitive matters related to your divorce or custody battle on social media, opt for private communication methods. This helps maintain privacy and reduces the chances of miscommunication or misinterpretation. Chatting privately with family and friends is the better option to help you work through some of your feelings rather than taking to social media. Also consider seeking the guidance of a therapist trained in family matters such as these.

  8. Seek legal advice: Consult with us regarding social media use during your divorce or custody proceedings - we can provide specific guidance based on your circumstances and local laws.

Remember that social media content can be used as evidence in court, and even deleted posts can potentially be retrieved. It's essential to exercise caution, use good judgment, and prioritize the best interests of yourself and your children whenever you are involved in a legal matter. Although it may not always feel this way, taking the high road will get you much further than giving in to those pesky impulses.


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