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Social media and your divorce

Every year, social media becomes increasingly intertwined with the fabric of our daily lives. The Pew Research Center reports that 69 percent of Americans use some form of social media.

Social media can provide many benefits, such as the ability to connect with far-away family and friends. However, the ability to instantly share thoughts, videos and pictures can also present drawbacks, especially for those going through a divorce.

Assume an active interest in your social media

As you deal with disputes over matters such as property division, custody arrangements and spousal support, both your finances and your personal life can undergo a great amount of scrutiny from your ex's attorney and from the judge. When your in-court persona clashes with the image you present on social media, the consequences can be serious.

Finances

In your divorce case, you will need to present financial disclosures. Whether you seek spousal support, want to claim a particular asset as separate property or want to protect yourself from having to pay support you cannot afford, your financial information should affirm your stance.

Claiming low income while posting about flashy spending on social media can not only contradict your claim but open you to accusations of fraud. If the court does decide you committed fraud, it may impose various sanctions.

Custody issues

Likewise, when seeking custody, you do not want the court looking at posts that present you as irresponsible or engaging in criminal behavior such as drug-taking or DUI.

Protecting yourself during the divorce

The bottom line is that you should avoid social media during your divorce. Check your platform's instructions for putting your account on hiatus or even deleting it; you want to ensure other users cannot tag you in potentially damaging posts.

Privacy settings may not protect you, as there are many ways for diligent attorneys to get around them. Even deleting an injudicious post may not help, as someone may have already taken a screenshot. Because social media makes it easy to post impulsively, staying away altogether can be a more effective strategy than resolving to post cautiously.

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