social media

Social Media and Divorce — Be Careful Not to Overshare

By Michael DiFalco

Social media use is as prevalent as ever, with seven out of ten Facebook users admitting to logging in and using the site every day. If you are a daily social media user, you may be accustomed to sharing special moments and big events with your family and friends online.

However, this urge to share can become a liability if you are in the middle of a divorce. Venting your frustrations about your ex or the progress of your case can land you in hot water with the judge. But even more innocuous posts, like pictures of you and a new partner or an out-of-state trip with your children, can create issues in your divorce.

Surprising Ways Social Media Posts Can Be Used in a Divorce

In an especially heated divorce, your ex and their attorney will be looking for any evidence they can to gain an advantage in court proceedings. Social media posts often provide ample fodder for parties in a divorce to raise suspicion about or cast allegations against one another.

Suppose that you are living in New York and decide to take a trip to Disney World with your child. Your temporary parenting plan does not permit you to take your child out of state without the other parent’s consent. Social media posts about your trip to the Magic Kingdom can be shared with the court as evidence that you violated court orders.

Or suppose that shortly after you file for divorce, you begin seeing someone new. You do not share this information with your ex. You post a picture of you, your child, and your new partner on an afternoon outing to the park. Your ex may see this and cast allegations about your new partner’s character and your ability to keep your child safe or even simply addressing the introduction of the child to that new partner.

Assume Everything You Post Is Public

You should not naively believe that the privacy settings on your social media account will prevent your ex or their attorney from seeing your posts. Setting your account’s security settings to private may not prevent mutual friends from seeing and sharing your posts. 

Depending on the platform and the privacy settings you select, your ex may be able to access your account through a mutual friend. They might have this access to your private posts even if you have blocked your ex from having direct access to your account.

Therefore, when you post something to social media during your divorce, you should do so assuming that your ex and the court will see it.

Use Social Media Responsibly While Your Divorce Is Pending

In light of this information, it is important that you practice responsible social media use while your divorce is pending. For example:

  • Limit posting in general as you go through the process
  • Do not post photographs of yourself violating court orders like parenting plans
  • Avoid posting about alcohol use or drug use, especially if such use occurs during times you are with your child
  • Do not disparage your ex or the court, even indirectly, no matter how frustrated you may be
  • Refrain from discussing plans to move or travel if you have not discussed these with your ex

Irresponsible social media posts can complicate your divorce proceedings. Your posts may not show or suggest any criminal or immoral behavior, and yet they can cause the court to question your motives and your fitness as a parent.

Consult with Your New York Divorce Lawyer Before Posting

Before you post anything, discuss your social media habits and posts with your experienced Garden City, New York, divorce attorneys at Aiello & DiFalco. We are committed to helping you resolve your divorce as quickly and favorably as possible, and using social media responsibly during your divorce can help you reach this goal.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.