Getting a divorce involves significant life changes for your whole family. There is a lot to think about and consider, and it is normal to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. During the divorce process, you must adhere to a specific code of conduct, so you don’t jeopardize your case. Though this may seem over the top or restrictive, your ex-spouse’s attorney will use anything and everything they can to win a higher settlement for their client.
One thing that often ruins arguments during a divorce is social media. Many people do not understand how damning their posts can be and how significantly they can sway a judge in court. This can seem scary, but with a bit of online know-how, you can keep your online social life without ruining your case.
We’ve assembled some everyday social media habits that can be used against you in court and alternative behaviors that will preserve your case.
- Posting About Vacations
When you’re going through a tricky divorce, it is customary to want to get away and treat yourself. A relaxing vacation may seem enticing but think twice before you post your paradise pics. Vacation pictures of any kind prove that you have enough money to take a trip. The more exotic the destination, the more this is true.
Your ex’s attorney can use such pictures to insinuate that you are hiding assets in the divorce. Even if you have been sincere, they can argue that the funds came out of joint money and ask that you get a smaller portion to compensate for your travels.
If you are asking for spousal support or alimony, this behavior is especially incriminating. If you can afford to go on vacation, your spouse’s attorney may argue that you do not need spousal support payments. If the judge agrees, you may be left with nothing.
Alternative Behavior: Stay Home, or Keep Your Pictures Private
Double check with your attorney before you go on a vacation. Depending on your situation, they may tell you it is unwise to leave town. Instead, consider staying home until your divorce is final and the settlements have been distributed.
If a vacation is a must, keep your vacation pictures private. Even private social media pictures can be leaked to your ex’s attorney, so opt to show them only to trusted family and friends.
- Bad-Mouthing Your Ex
When you are going through a divorce, it is normal to want to talk things out or vent about your situation. However, you must keep such ideas off of the internet. Even closed or private internet circles can leak harsh words back to your ex-spouse, and their attorney can use your posts as incriminating proof of bad character. This can hurt your case for everything from child custody to spousal support.
Alternative Behavior: Talk to Friends or a Therapist
As mentioned, it is normal to want to vent about your feelings when you are going through an emotional situation such as divorce. It is healthy to get your emotions out so that you can work through them.
If you can, find a therapist to speak with every week or two. This gives you a safe outlet to work through any anger or contempt you have for your ex without slandering their reputation online. In addition, because of HIPAA laws, your therapist cannot disclose anything you say to the court, so there is no worry of tarnishing your ex’s reputation.
If a therapist is not available or not in your budget, speak privately to close and trusted friends and family. Be sure that they know not to gossip or spread the information and how important it is that they remain safe people for you to speak to openly.
- Showing Off Big Purchases
It can be tempting to purchase a new car or fancy clothes for yourself while going through an emotional time. However, sharing these purchases online will seem incriminating to the court. Therefore, avoid posting about such purchases.
Alternative Behavior: Hold Off, or Lay Low
If you can, hold off on making big purchases until the divorce is finalized. This will ensure that nobody accuses you of hiding assets or squandering shared funds.
If you do buy something nice for yourself, opt to enjoy it privately for a while. Take friends on rides in your new car, for example, but refrain from posting pictures of the vehicle online.
- Posting Party Pictures
One of the most common behaviors after a divorce is going out and having a good time with friends. This behavior helps blow off emotional steam and allows many people to feel like themselves again. However, the court can use this against you, especially in child custody cases. Your ex’s attorney may use photos of you drinking or partying to suggest that you are a terrible parent and unfit to care for your kids.
Though this likely isn’t true, it is essential to acknowledge how the situation may seem to a judge, especially if they are led to a conclusion by your ex’s lawyer.
Alternative Behavior: Don’t Share Party Pictures; Deactivate Social Media
If you go out, make sure not to post pictures that make you look as if you are drunk or partying. Ask your friends to refrain from tagging you or posting any pictures of you from the evening. If this doesn’t feel attainable or possible, consider deactivating your social media accounts until your divorce is finalized. Most sites allow temporary account suspension, and you can pick up where you left off once everything with your divorce is official.
Contact Stange Law
Here at Stange Law, we take care of our clients in more ways than one. Though we fight for your best interests in the courtroom, we also encourage healthy behavior outside the courtroom that helps your case. No possibility is lost on us, and we do everything we can to create a convincing, strong argument in your favor.
For help with any of your Kansas City family law cases, contact the expert attorneys at Stange Law.