It may sound ridiculous, but when you’re engaged in divorce proceedings, any amount of digital evidence can be used in your divorce case. As one young man learned the hard way, even Pokemon Go can cause relationship strife. In his case, his girlfriend discovered that one of the Pokemon in his possession had been caught from his ex-girlfriend’s home. Pokemon Go stores the location of every creature you catch as a reference, and lists a small map along with their statistics.
Obviously, the cases in which Pokemon Go holds truly incriminating data are few and far between. But as technology like this wildly popular app surround our day-to-day routines, it certainly raises an important question.
What type of information should you avoid posting on social media if you’re undergoing a divorce?
Use Social Media With Caution
Many of us use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis to find out what’s trending in the news, to share pictures and updates, and to catch up with friends and loved ones. While social networking tools can be fantastic, people going through divorce proceedings need to exercise caution when it comes to tweeting or posting status updates.
Most people know that their assets and other personal information will be reviewed and even scrutinized during divorce proceeding. Unfortunately, what you post on social media can also be a source of information that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may misconstrue and use against you. Remember that you may have shared connections, so even if you “block” or “unfriend” your spouse, your updates could still get back to him or her.
Things to Avoid
Here are things that should not be on your social media pages during a divorce, because of the potential for them to be used against you during asset division or child custody debates:
- Lies: This seems obvious, but don’t post anything about your spouse on social media that is not true.
- Dirty laundry: Don’t use social media to air grievances or to complain about your spouse in any way. Divorces are often emotional, so when you feel the need to “vent” to others, do it in person in a private setting.
- Check-ins: Refrain from using “check ins” online to show your connections where you are, and don’t let your friends check you in anywhere either. Using location settings can be a fun way to show your friends where you have been, but a paper trail of your location data can potentially be used against you. This is exactly what caused the turmoil for the young man playing Pokemon Go we mentioned above.
- Social pictures: A big part of social media for many people is sharing pictures from social functions and events. However, when you’re going through a divorce, those same pictures could be used against you. If you are photographed in spite of your best efforts and are “tagged” on social media, remove the tags. Better yet, change your settings so you have to approve tags before your connections can see them.
- Relationship status: Don’t change your relationship status during proceedings, and don’t answer questions online about what’s going on with your relationship.
As a rule of thumb, before you post or share something, take a moment to imagine your spouse, his or her attorney and the judge seeing your post. Could the information be misinterpreted to paint you in a negative light? If so, change the post or refrain from posting entirely.
You don’t need to completely give up social media, but do try to proceed with caution. If you’re at all unsure about the best way to conduct yourself during your divorce, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Vaught Law Firm. We know how difficult divorce can be on you and your family. We can help ease the difficulty and provide guidance.