Complaining about anything and everything on social media has become an American pastime, and people’s family situations are not exempt from this. Social media can be a cathartic way to express your feelings, but it can also be a great way to present yourself in a bad light if you are thinking about filing for divorce or child custody. One of the most common ways people do this is by bashing a spouse or co-parent to the world on Facebook!
Social media websites are never completely private, even if you have your account on the highest priority settings. Information, status updates and pictures can be requested by the other side in a divorce or custody case. Family law cases are very emotional, and while it is completely understandable to want to vent to your friends and family, we would recommend logging out of the account and slowly stepping away from the computer or Smartphone when you get the urge. Your emotional and possibly rage-inspired posts may be subject to discovery in court and could come under scrutiny by the judge presiding over your case.
Can I Post About My Spouse or Ex on Facebook?
As intense as the desire to put your angry words into feelings, remember cyberspace never forgets! As much as you’d like to shout to the world about your ex being the personification of evil itself, a judge will not appreciate or sympathize with the sentiment. This is particularly true when there are children involved in the matter. One aspect of child custody law that judges consider is the willingness of a parent to cooperate with the other, so it helps to take the high road (which can certainly be a bumpy one).
A recent case of Facebooking gone wrong happened last year in Cincinnati, when a photographer ranted about the hellish conditions of being married to his soon-to-be ex-wife. Even though his posts were made on a high privacy setting, his wife found out through a mutual friend and went to the court. The judge ordered the man to apologize or face time in jail. This may be an extreme example, but a UK study claimed Facebook is now being used as evidence in almost one-third of divorces.
There are better and less risky ways to express your feelings, such as talking to trusted family members or a counselor. Your Facebook feed should not read like an episode of Maury, so remember that the less you say, the better.
Divorce Matters – Denver Divorce Attorneys