Making the decision to divorce someone you once loved can be incredibly challenging, which is why you might turn to family and friends for support. Unfortunately, talking about your divorce online can cause a long list of problems, since social media posts are admissible in court. Here are three types of posts you should avoid making online. Learn how they could injure your case.
- Explaining Your Side of the Story
If you want your friends and family members to understand your reasons behind your separation, you might be tempted to go online and post a lengthy statement about what happened and what you hope for the future. Unfortunately, making statements online can become an assortment of problems, since this gives your audience access to your mindset.
For instance, if you aren’t happy about the divorce, you might talk about how you are eager to get things over with. If your ex, their attorney, or anyone who knows them reads this information, your ex might be more tempted to try to speed through negotiations, which could leave you with less than you deserve.
Explaining your side of the story also gives outsiders many opportunities to comment, which is a breeding ground for problems. For instance, if your soon to be ex-sister-in-law decides to explain her side of the story in your comments section, you might end up with a harassment lawsuit on your hands in addition to a potentially messy divorce case.
To avoid problems, avoid making statements about your living arrangements or marital status on social media. Instead, consider suspending your accounts or not saying anything at all. Changing your relationship status online will have the same effect as announcing your divorce without sparking a war of words.
- Commenting About Your Ex
Divorce can be an incredibly emotional time, especially when you feel wronged by your ex. Unfortunately, going online to speak your piece could cause problems, since any potential derogatory statement could be grounds for libel, slander, or defamation lawsuits.
While slander is making defamatory statements about someone verbally, libel is publishing written defamatory statements about another person. Unfortunately, with the advent of video posts, divorcing partners can make either damaging statement in a matter of seconds.
Because defamation can impact a person’s ability to make money or continue relationships with family members, friends, and children, courts tend to take social media trashing very seriously. Never make statements regarding your former spouse’s character, lifestyle habits, or parenting styles, and try to keep friends and family members from making similar mistakes.
Although making defamatory posts online might seem like an easy way to tip the scales in your favor, remember that saying the wrong things could hurt your own divorce settlement.
For instance, if you accuse your ex of being dishonest and stealing from you and the statement is marked as public, this could impact their ability to earn an income, since their employer might also take issue with the statement. If their income drops, this could impact your spousal and child support.
With posting statements about your ex online, work hard to keep things civil. Address one another respectfully and professionally online, and avoid posting on their page or messaging them without getting your lawyer involved.
- Showing Off New Purchases
Investing in a new car or enjoying a nice vacation with your kids can seem like an innocent enough post, but unfortunately, the court might see it another way. If you use social media to show off new purchases, this could be a sign that you hid assets during your divorce — a transgression punishable with civil and criminal penalties.
Hiding assets includes actions like failing to disclose income sources or temporarily giving money to family members or friends, only to use those income sources or returned loans in the future. If the law suspects you of hiding assets, your ex’s attorneys could challenge your property disclosures, potentially increasing the number of assets subject to distribution.
If the court finds you to be hiding assets, you could face significant fines or even jail time, since you promised to be honest and forthcoming when the divorce ensued. The law could void prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and could re-open your settlement agreement. As you progress through your divorce, focus on staying away from social media and avoiding any indication of extravagant living.
What you do during a divorce matters, which is why working with lawyers is such an important part of your separation journey. Here at Madison Law Firm, PLLC, we focus on helping our clients to navigate legal matters, while working hard to make sure they enjoy a positive outcome in court. To learn more about our business, visit us online today or give our office a call.