The divorce process is often muddied with a number of issues – all of which are saturated with heavy emotions and stress. Property division, child custody and visitation rights are just a few subjects that are a part of the process.
In the midst of it all, many individuals fail to consider how angry comments on Facebook or Twitter might affect their divorce. If you are dealing with the end of your marriage, you may want to reflect on the online social presence of you and your former partner.
According to the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, managing an online footprint is becoming a regular part of divorce conversations as social networks become mainstream ways of communicating information about life.
A social media agreement
If you are utilizing social networking mediums, you may try working with your ex-spouse to formulate an agreement on the type of content shared regarding your former marriage. What is off-limits? Can your kids’ pictures be on Facebook? These questions may seem trivial; but, with the proliferation of technology, such issues are becoming more relevant.
Legal experts say that technology can actually be useful within the divorce process. It is a way to share facts and manage schedules in a very efficient way. For example, email may help facilitate and filter communication, creating a lower risk of impulsive comments.
It may be hard to strike a balance between cooperative technology use and hostile conduct. Divorce is an emotional process. If your fuse goes off, you may end up saying something compromising not only to your spouse, but also to the entire whole world. Social media platforms such as Facebook create a record of communication, and this can come back to haunt you. One “tweet” on Twitter could generate irreversible damage and even lead to supervised visitation.
Value of shutting down social media accounts
For this reason, many family law attorneys recommend that clients shut down their social media profiles when they begin the process. Otherwise, evidence, such as questionable pictures, could be used as ammo in court proceedings. On the other hand, some uses of technology are completely unavoidable as our social interactions become more technologically integrated. If you must stay connected, think before you transmit something online. Also, ensure that your online privacy settings are heightened. For example, consider who can view information posted.
It may help to discuss your online presence with a legal professional. Divorce is not easy, but it can become worse if your issues or private matters are publicized on a large scale. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand what information is worth protecting as you work through the issues in the divorce process.
Keywords: Social Media, Online Presence, Divorce