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 law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. 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.