Getting Divorced? 3 Social Media Mistakes that Could Cost You in Court


You might have all of your social media settings set to "private," but that doesn't mean that the things that you post can't be used against you in court. If you are getting divorced, the things you do and say on social media can stick with you.

In fact, one study showed that 81% of matrimonial lawyers stated that they used or came across social media evidence in the past five years. To avoid complicating your case, remember these three social media mistakes that could cost you in court: 

1: Bad-Mouthing Your Ex

Divorce can be a messy and painful process, especially if your spouse has wronged you in some way. To quickly address questions or to put rumors at bay, many people turn to social media to talk about their ex. However, posting on social media could land you a libel defamation lawsuit later.

Defamation is making statements that aren't true, either intentionally or unintentionally. Libel means that the defamation is written, which is the case when you post online. Although you might not think that your words hold too much power, a little defamation can go a long way, which can cause serious problems for your divorce settlement.

For example, if your husband owns a business and you post on social media that his life is falling apart, it could affect the stock price of the company, which could destroy the business. After all, why would an investor hang onto their unstable stock? Unfortunately, if this statement isn't true, and your divorce has no bearing on the business, you could end up with a defamation suit for damages tied to lost profits.

Ultimately, to avoid additional lawsuits, never post about your soon-to-be-ex or your divorce proceedings on social media.

2: Making Vague Statements

Dealing with your day-to-day life during your court case can be hard, which might leave you looking for answers on social media. If you are having a rough time managing your life as a single parent, you might post something like "Soooo overwhelmed today. This isn't going well." Unfortunately, that simple, vague statement can go a long way in court.

Your online posts can be used to show your character, attitudes, or ability to handle situations. If you talk about how you are having a hard time managing your everyday life, will the judge grant you full custody of your five rambunctious children?

Do yourself a favor, and avoid making statements online during the course of your divorce. If you need a little advice or comfort, call your friends individually instead of plastering your feelings all over the Internet. You might be able to get the help you need, without causing any collateral damage.

3: Posting Pictures

That funny selfie might seem like the perfect addition to your wall, but a picture is worth a thousand words. People can read a lot into images, which could affect your ability to prove your case. Here are a few things that other people might glean from a simple photo:

  • Behaviors: Those images could be used to prove where you were at any given time, and what you were doing while you were there. For example, if you were supposed to take your child to the doctor for your ex, but you decided to hit a baseball game with a friend instead, that tagged image could help the other lawyer to prove that you weren't being responsible.
  • Company: Pictures can be especially damaging anytime you are suspected of cheating. If there are all kinds of pictures of you online with someone that your spouse suspects you of cheating with, they could be used to damage your testimony.

When you are in the midst of a divorce, turn off your cell phone camera and put down your computer. You never know how your words might be misconstrued, or what someone might think about that image. You can go to sites online to glean more tips on how to represent yourself in a responsible way during a divorce.


16 January 2015

Hurt at Work? Get the Compensation You Deserve

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