In today’s day and age where people post daily pictures of their breakfast to Instagram, tweet their every waking moment, and air their grievances on Facebook, the danger of all this accessibility to private information as it relates to separation/divorce is often overlooked. All of those posts are potential pieces of evidence and one should exercise extreme caution and restraint when using social media in the wake of a separation.
I have used Facebook status posts to prove that the other side of a matter is cohabiting with a new partner, that the other side uses drugs despite him denying usage, and to show pictures of safety hazards in one parent’s home. I have also used information on someone’s Facebook account to prove that she was employed despite her claims to the contrary. I have had to have to some serious discussions with my own clients when their own Facebook posts have come back to haunt them. I have read a case in which a step-father was found to have acted in the place of a parent (thereby creating a child support obligation for him) because he referred to the child as “son” in numerous Facebook posts.
I often advise people to shut their social media accounts down as increasing the privacy settings does not always guarantee protection. If this is not something you are prepared to do, then proceed with caution. Assume that anything and everything you post could one day be read by a judge. Do not post negative comments about the other party and do not engage in arguments through social media.
Also, use similar restraint when text messaging or emailing your former partner/spouse. Lawyers love attaching copies of nasty messages to letters and court documents because it removes any doubt that the words were actually said.
If you are unsure of whether something you want to write is appropriate or not, refer to this simple advice: when in doubt, don’t.