The short answer to this question is yes. Any written correspondence can be used as evidence during your divorce proceedings. As such, our attorneys at DePrima Law encourage you to forgo social media altogether once your divorce has been filed. While you might be tempted, you shouldn’t delete your online presence completely, either.
Below, we’ll discuss behaviors to avoid online, and how to make sure your online activity doesn’t interfere with your case.
Step 1: Stop Posting
As soon as you file for divorce or receive paperwork from your spouse, stop posting on social media. Anything you share can be used as evidence against you.
For example, if you use Facebook or Instagram to share vacation photos or show-off purchases, these posts can be used as evidence of your financial situation. During a divorce, you might want to “treat yourself” and take extra steps toward self-care. If you keep your spoils fairly minimal and more importantly, keep them to yourself, they should not affect your case.
Step 2: Prioritize Privacy
Even if you’re not posting photos, your friends and family members might want to share activities you enjoy together on social media. Make sure the people close to you know that you’re trying to keep your life private during the divorce. If your friend posts a photo of you drinking, for instance, the photo might be used against you in a custody battle.
You may not be able to control what other people post on the internet, so try to avoid situations that would make you “look bad” in court.
Step 3: Don’t Write Anything You Wouldn’t Want Read in Court
Emails and text messages are also admissible in the court room. If you are excited or frustrated about something in your life, don’t write it down if it could affect your case. A text sharing news about a job interview or potential promotion, for example, could be framed as dishonesty about your financial situation when read out-of-context in court. Similarly, a frustrated email could be used to challenge your abilities as a parent. Instead of emailing or texting sensitive information, try to share it during phone calls or in person.
The same goes for social media.
If you wouldn’t want it read by a judge, don’t write it down – anywhere.
Step 4: Avoid Apps
Many divorcees look forward to dating again. This is a natural impulse, but you should save it for after your case is finalized. If you make a dating profile while you’re going through a divorce, it can be brought into court as evidence. The profile might suggest that you were cheating on your spouse, and the way you present yourself to potential new partners may not be the same way you want to present yourself as a parent.
Step 5: Don’t Delete Anything
Whatever you do, don’t delete your social media accounts, or even recent posts. Getting rid of your online presence can be a destruction of evidence and get you and your legal team in trouble.
If you’ve posted anything you’re worried about, be sure to tell your attorney about it. Addressing the post before opposing council and presenting it with the appropriate context can take the sting out of any offhanded comment.
Step 6: Hire the Right Attorney
When you hire an attorney, they will review all aspects of your case. This includes examining your social media and the online presence of your spouse.
At DePrima Law, we will not overlook any evidence that can be used in your favor. When we represent you, we will make sure to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of your case and help you present the best version of yourself in court.
Discuss your situation with our team at (716) 638-2633 or during an in-person consultation.