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The use of social media has been growing steadily over the past few years. There are over 2.27 monthly active users on Facebook, which only keeps increasing each year. Needless to say, social media has become a large part of our everyday lives. People use social media for a variety of things; connecting with old friends, keeping in touch with family, and sharing what is going on in their life. It’s become even easier to access these platforms with the invention of smartphones and apps. However, active use of social media can become an issue when a separation or divorce occurs.

Social media’s impact on divorce and separation

People don’t always think before they post, especially when angry or upset. It’s satisfying to get your innermost thoughts out of your head and receive validation or support from people you know, but what you post on social media can come back to haunt you. As children, we’re warned to be careful of what information we share online. As adults, we either become more reckless or more cautious. In the case of a divorce or separation, caution is crucial. Information gathered through social media travels fast and can reach the ears of your ex quickly, even if you have them blocked.

Unfortunately, while it may seem like your social media is your private space, depending on your privacy settings, anyone can get their hands on what you’ve posted. Including your ex’s lawyers. It’s become fairly common for lawyers to gather documents and proof to assist their client in the event of child custody cases, assets and liabilities, and income assessment. Posts that display evidence of extremely poor judgment, lack of respect toward or an inability to cooperate with your ex, or a lifestyle that is unhealthy for your children can ultimately undermine your case.

Steps you can take to ensure your privacy

If you’re going through a separation or divorce, but still want to use your social media, you can. However, before you start posting about what your new life will be like, here are several points you should keep in mind:

  1.     Don’t post anything that can be interpreted as negative toward your ex or the separation. Always think about what you’re about to post before you post it! You should refrain from posting about the separation.
  2.     Advise people you’re close to that you are currently going through the separation process and you’d appreciate if they didn’t tag you in anything that could be used against you.
  3.     If you and your ex aren’t on good terms, consider blocking your ex and anyone else who may be a concern on social media. This could include mutual friends and certain relatives.  
  4.     Make sure your privacy settings are set to your liking. Sometimes people forget to adjust their settings upon making their account. If you don’t want your information to go public, then it would be a good idea to check these settings and restrict access to the public.
  5.     Consider limiting the amount you use your social media accounts. Take a break from the Internet and spend some time with your friends and family!

While you should always be cautious of the content and information you’re sharing online, during the separation process it’s extremely important. Your use of social media can help the court determine whether you’re capable of looking after your children or how much you’ll owe for child support.

Mel Garbe

Mel founded Lift Legal with the goal of delivering cost effective legal services without sacrificing capability by effectively using modern tools to access the types of resources that larger law firms have access to. The result being that Lift Legal provides high level professional services at a greater value.

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