Transparency—so we’ve been taught—shapes us into more authentic people and prevents us from getting stuck in rigid patterns. By sharing experiences online, we also help others know that they’re not alone. When you’re going through a divorce, this kind of collective therapy isn’t just healthy—it’s downright essential. Right?
Not necessarily. Social media is a double-edged tool. Even well-intended, polite discussions about your divorce on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere can profoundly affect your divorce case, and not in a good way.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sharing Versus “Oversharing”
When something happens to us in 2017, it seems second nature to let our friends and family know. We share personal and professional news, often accompanied by pictures. Unfortunately, oversharing on social media can have several negative consequences:
- You create potentially admissible evidence. What you publish online could be retrieved during discovery to paint an unflattering picture. For example, a casual mention of a new job offer or a vacation may lead to an amendment of your Financial Affidavit, which can affect spousal or child support.
- You could stoke anger, jealousy or other negative emotions. While Minnesota does not consider fault in a divorce proceeding, publishing pictures of you and your new lover snorkeling on the beach or clinking glasses at a fancy restaurant could enrage your ex-spouse. Bragging is in bad taste, and it can have indirect affects on your divorce outcome. For instance, your ex may react by dropping out of the mediation process, forcing a more public and expensive court battle.
- You could undermine your case. If you’re claiming strained finances, but you’re posting Facebook updates of lavish vacations or nights out, the court (or your ex) might suspect you have hidden assets.
Do not post anything on social media that you would not share with the whole world. Even if your posts are “private,” they’re still in an online space, which makes them public information in the court’s eyes. Even Snapchats are permanent if someone snags a screenshot.
You may want to speak candidly about ex, but save that for dinner or drinks with friends. Do not use an online public forum.
Our Minnesota family law attorneys are standing by to help you make sense of your next steps. Get in touch today for a strategic consultation.