Social media has thrown many divorces for a loop by bringing new and unexpected forms of evidence into the dissolution process. Often, seemingly innocuous errors can hold huge implications for both spouses.

In Part 1 of our series on shocking social media mistakes, we delved into a few real-life scenarios involving adjusted alimony and even criminal indictments. Now, we explore celebrity examples of divorce-related social media gaffes:

Liking the Wrong Page or Status Update

Active posting alone won’t get you in trouble; your behavior on social media extends well beyond what you post on your wall. Likes and comments can come back to haunt you. Such was the case for actress Anna Faris, who blew the lid on her separation by ‘liking’ a post about divorce one week before she and Chris Pratt made their big announcement. While she didn’t suffer too much, it bears repeating that likes and comments could have stronger implications in some divorce cases, perhaps even impacting alimony or child custody.

Ranting About Exes On Social Media

Reality star Roger Mathews’ divorce from Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley may still be pending, but it appears that he has done lasting damage to his custody case with a recent social media rant. In a disturbing Instagram post, Mathews used threatening language. A small sample: “I hope you die a slow painful death…just for fun. (Which is the most powerful setting and is like being shot by a police taser).” While we have yet to see the full impact of this behavior play out in court, it’s likely that Mathews’ behavior could lead to the loss of custody or parenting time — he could be deemed incapable of providing a safe home environment for his children.

If social media is throwing you for a loop as you navigate the divorce process, don’t hesitate to seek feedback from the Brown Law Offices.

Research suggests that Facebook prompts approximately one-third of modern divorces. But that’s just the beginning. Once the separation process is underway, couples find themselves navigating new social media complications. What can they post? What can be used as evidence? In this blog series, we’ll take a look at some of the most shocking social media mistakes that caused major misery for divorcing couples.

Alimony Impacted By Belly Dancing Pictures

Dorothy McGurk originally scored $850 in monthly alimony due to injuries from a previous accident that allegedly left her unable to work. That is, until her ex-husband Brian discovered belly dancing images along with a treasure trove of other incriminating photos online. These social media updates made it abundantly clear that McGurk was far more capable of working than she’d indicated while negotiating her original alimony settlement. Her social media flub resulted in a court ruling that saw her alimony cut in half.

Threatening Rap Lyrics

Social media’s interplay with Facebook is so significant, it has already reached the Supreme Court. It all began when Anthony Douglas Elonis posted terrifying rap lyrics to Facebook under a pseudonym. A grand jury indicted him on several counts of threatening not only his estranged wife, but also park employees and local law enforcement officials.

Ultimately, Elonis prevailed, as the Supreme Court reversed the initial decision. Still, this case holds considerable implications for future situations involving threats (whether real or perceived) posted to social media. When in doubt, it’s best to avoid posting anything that could be deemed threatening — even under a pseudonym.

Look to the Brown Law Offices for assistance as you navigate the complicated interplay of social media and divorce. Reach out today to get started.

Divorce brings out the worst in all of us. Unfortunately, in a digital age, the worst of us remains online indefinitely.

If you freaked out at your ex online, you’re in big trouble — records of your explosion could be used against you in court. It’s time to exercise damage control. These tactics will help you make the most of a bad situation:

Don’t Delete Your Account Just Yet

You’re mortified by your social media excess and eager to make it all go away. It would be so simple to press the ‘delete’ button. Proceed with caution. The damage has already been done. Tamper with your post (or worse, delete your account altogether) and you could be accused of ‘spoliating’ the evidence. Once you doctor published content, you’ll give the impression that you have something to hide. Your efforts could even lead to sanctions. Don’t edit or delete anything until you’ve consulted with your attorney.

Even accidental changes can cause problems. For example: in Katiroll Company, Inc. v. Kati Roll and Platters, Inc., the court claimed technical spoliation when a defendant merely changed his profile picture. Given the ease with which you can commit spoliation, it’s best to ask your attorney for guidance when in doubt.

Don’t Follow Up on Social Media

Want to make a bad situation worse? Keep the flood of information going on Facebook. Your efforts to smooth things over may actually harm your case. Don’t apologize online or try to explain your previous post.

Plan For Your Social Media Future

Learn from your mistakes. Don’t post anything else about your divorce. Other posts to avoid:

  • Any mentions of dating adventures or new relationships
  • Anything that suggests you have a lot of disposable income (such as images of new cars or pricey vacations)
  • Content that indicates your irresponsibility as a parent
  • Don’t lash out at former in-laws

The Brown Law Offices, P.A. team offers valuable insight into social media strategy during your divorce. Don’t let Facebook destroy your legal outcome — seek legal feedback at your earliest convenience.