If you are considering divorce, or if you are in the midst of divorce proceedings, you should know your social media accounts could provide your soon to be ex-spouse with information they may later use against you. If you use any social media whatsoever, take a few moments to consider some or all of the following steps to protect yourself.
Social Media and Divorce: Change your Passwords
Even if you and your soon to be ex-spouse aren’t even speaking to each other now, there was probably a time when you were close enough they either knew, or could make a pretty good guess at your passwords. Even if you think they don’t know your current password, it is a good idea to change your password again. Change it in a way that isn’t personal to you, such as your birth date or your firstborn’s name. Instead, come up with a password as random and impersonal as possible to prevent anyone guessing at the passwords. Consider all of your accounts, even those you don’t use regularly. It costs nothing to change the password, so why not do it as a precaution?
Social Media and Divorce: Carefully Select Your Friends and Followers
Take a look at your social media accounts with an eye towards who has access to your postings. First, consider your account settings. Are your social media accounts available for anyone to review or are the privacy settings more stringent? If your social media accounts are public, you may rest assured your soon to be ex-spouse’s attorney will at least give your accounts a cursory review, looking for any information they may be able to use against you should the divorce be contested. You can change your privacy settings at any time. While the divorce is pending, they should be set to private.
Additionally, take a few moments to review who will have access even after you change your settings to private. You probably have one or more friends in common with your soon to be ex-spouse. In fact, it is likely you have also connected with his side of the family on social media. Consider cutting ties – at a minimum until after the divorce is final.
Social Media and Divorce: Take a Step Back
Consider taking a step back from social media. Do you really need to post pictures of your dinner? Or worse, vent your spleen about how much your ex is annoying you right now? Believe it or not, either one could cost you in a litigious divorce. How could posting a picture of your dinner come back to haunt you, you ask? Understand pictures speak for themselves. If you are eating dinner out at a restaurant, presumably you have the money to pay for such expenses. If you are claiming the need for alimony in order to get by, for example, a nice meal might suggest otherwise.
Obviously, saying bad things about your soon to be ex-spouse, particularly if they are the other parent of your children, could be presented to the court.
Divorce filings begin to increase in January, and increase until March of each year. If you are considering a divorce, contact the Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. Attorney Cheshire has been a family and divorce lawyer for 29 years. He has a proven track record of negotiating settlements, including through the use of mediation and collaborative divorce. When necessary, Eric C. Cheshire is willing and able to go into court and litigate the issues important to you and your family. Contact our law office to schedule your confidential consultation at 561-655-8844.