Today, almost everyone uses social media to stay connected. Because use of social media is so common, many people do not think twice about their usage. However, information gathered from social media is becoming a common component of divorce proceedings.
Over 80 percent of attorneys find evidence on social networks that is worth presenting in court, and 66 percent of divorce cases use Facebook as a principal evidence source. Photos, comments, posts and other online activity can reveal the presence of hidden assets, can contradict testimonies given in court, can supply proof of adultery and can highlight character attributes, all of which can be used against you in court.
How to prevent social media being used against you
To avoid having your online presence used against you, consider deactivating your accounts and removing the associated apps from your devices, so they stop collecting data about you. If you are unwilling to do that, consider making the following changes to your usage of social media:
- Turn off the check-in feature, avoid posting your location and delete any apps that track your location
- Be cautious about which photos you post
- Adjust your settings to be as private as possible
- Adjust your settings so friends cannot tag you in posts of photos without your permission
- Avoid using dating sites or dating apps
Be mindful of your children’s use of social media
If your children have an online presence or have their own devices, be aware that your children’s use of social media, apps and smart phones can work against you too. Photos, check-ins, tags, family tracking apps and your child’s other digital data can reveal information about parenting routines or can provide evidence that contradicts something you told your spouse or the court.
Additionally, if your family shared an apple ID or an iCloud, some of your photos or apps could be automatically shared with your children’s devices, which may be visible to the other parent. Although these types of accounts are not technically social media, it is often beneficial to unlink your devices from shared accounts.
Although many people use social media, few are aware of the risks this usage can present during divorce. To avoid potential problems, try to limit your presence on social media during your divorce.