Should You Avoid Posting on Social Media During Your Divorce?

wedding rings sitting on top of a cell phone - social media and divorce concept
Many people use social media to share news about major life events with friends and family. However, using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to update your loved ones about your divorce can be a critical mistake. Using social media as you go through the divorce process should be done cautiously — ranting about your soon-to-be ex-spouse or disclosing personal details can be a detrimental mistake that may harm your case.

Can Posting on Social Media About Divorce Hurt Your Settlement Agreement?

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words — and posting on social media about divorce should be avoided in every situation. Social media can be a goldmine for a party seeking evidence in a contentious divorce. Social media and divorce are two things that should never be mixed. Anything you post on social media can be used (and misconstrued) by your spouse and their attorney to bolster their position. Even though all divorces are no-fault in Oregon, there may still be certain aspects of your divorce that are in dispute. For instance, if child custody is contested and you post photos of yourself partying and drinking, your spouse might try to argue you are an unfit parent. In the event you might be entitled to alimony, your spouse might assert that you are financially independent if you post photos of big purchases. Posting photos of yourself and a new romantic partner can also potentially affect an alimony award. While Oregon courts do not consider marital fault — and adultery does not have a direct impact on spousal support — a judge might consider marital misconduct if it created the need for alimony. For example, if a spouse spent thousands of dollars on gifts for their paramour, a judge might deem it resulted in financial harm to the other spouse.

Tips for Social Media and Divorce

Social media can come with many dangers when you’re going through the divorce process. Although every case is different, it can often do more harm than good if you’re going through a particularly rough divorce. If you are an avid social media user, you might consider deactivating your account until your divorce has concluded to avoid the temptation of posting something that might inadvertently hurt your case. Remember, if you’re posting on social media about divorce, the information becomes public. The following are a few social media tips to keep in mind when you’re going through the divorce process:
  • Set your social media accounts to private
  • Change your passwords
  • Don’t post about alcohol or drug use
  • Ask friends and family to refrain from posting about your situation
  • Avoid posting on your accounts or deleting posts
  • Don’t speak badly about your spouse on social media
  • Refrain from posting photos of large purchases or trips
  • Don’t post about new romantic relationships
It might also be best to “unfriend” your soon-to-be former spouse as well as their family members and friends. If you decide to continue using social media as you go through the divorce process, avoid using it to vent — focus on only sharing positive posts.

How Should You Handle Social Media After Your Divorce?

After your divorce proceedings have concluded, it’s essential to be aware of what you’re posting and the possible consequences. Social media posts have become increasingly relevant to child custody matters, child support, and alimony. It’s important to keep in mind that these things can be modified after a divorce settlement. This means that any photos or information you post on social media in connection with these matters can potentially be used in court at a later point. Additionally, if there is a restraining order in place, it is crucial for the spouse who is subject to it to avoid any and all forms of communication with the protected party — this includes messaging on social media, following them on social media, posting comments, or reacting to posts. Engaging in communication could violate the terms of the restraining order. You may also consider going through your timeline or profile and cleaning it up after a divorce. While deleting things from your timeline doesn’t usually have a bearing on any issues that might arise post-divorce, you might want to remove certain photos if they bring back emotional memories. If you frequently use the “milestones” feature on Facebook, you might want to remove certain events like your wedding date, anniversaries, family vacations, or activities with your ex-spouse’s family.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce isn’t easy and many aspects of your life can be affected by it — including how you use social media. A knowledgeable family law attorney can assist you with navigating the legal process and help ensure you avoid any pitfalls, including posting on social media, as you move forward. Based in Salem, Litowich Law provides compassionate counsel to clients throughout Oregon for a broad scope of divorce and family law matters. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation to learn more about the implications of social media and divorce — and how we can help in your case.
Categories: Divorce