For most of human history, we regular folk did not have to worry about our words being public domain. Now that social media outlets like Facebook have an average of over two (2) billion active users each month, every post, tweet, and snap are publicly broadcast for the world, our ex spouses, and their attorneys to see. When individuals go through a stressful time like a divorce, emotions will naturally be running high while good judgement might be at an all-time low. Venting to friends and family over in private may be a healthy, cathartic experience. Airing your dirty laundry to hundreds of social media followers, however, can lead to serious real life consequences.
Legal Ramifications of Social Media Posts in Union County, NJ
Beyond the always good advice of being careful what you post on social media, posting about ongoing divorce proceedings may have real, concrete ramifications in some cases. When in the middle of any legal dispute, it is generally a great idea to keep radio silent on social media. Here are some scenarios where our clients have shot themselves in the foot by posting online:
Criticizing an Ex – you would certainly not be the first person who felt justified in publicly bashing a current or former spouse. However, divorce proceedings do take into account both mental and emotional fitness when determining terms including child custody and visitation. Extreme cases could also be construed as harassment, which is a form of domestic abuse.
Sharing Personal Information – this is most damaging when our clients attempt to “out” another person by oversharing the details of a divorce or other activities. This may carry the same negative consequences as discussed above.
Sharing Incriminating Information – not just confined to the people who take pictures and videos of themselves robbing banks (yes that has really happened), incriminating posts can include proof of large purchases, adultery and more. If you don’t want your ex or their lawyer to know about it, do not post it.
Elizabeth Divorce Attorney Discusses Personal Aspects of Social Media During a Divorce
We have already identified a few legal pitfalls to avoid on social media during a divorce, but there is also the personal side of the equation. Social media provides a unique insight into the lives of others, and that window opens in both directions. Taking the following steps may prevent some unnecessary heartache when going through a difficult divorce.
Don’t visit your ex’s social media pages – even if you are sure that they will never know, there is no good that can come from lurking on the social media page of a former spouse. If you are suspicious that they may be partaking in some of the damaging activities as discussed above, let your Elizabeth divorce attorney know and our legal team will take it from there.
Be careful about blocking on social media – this may seem counterintuitive based on the previous piece of advice, but it is worth considering. Blocking an account may be the best option, but it also may be worth considering the other party’s reaction and whether it is worth the hassle.
Avoid romanticizing your life – a common social media phenomenon known as “humble bragging” involves posting an idealized version of your life for the world to see. While most of us are guilty of this to some degree, trying to project a certain image will only serve to hinder your emotional healing in a difficult time. The best course of action is often to try and move on with your life and not to dwell on how you are perceived by others.
Contact a Linden Divorce and Family Law Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Edward S. Cooper, Esq. focuses on family law and divorce matters for our clients in local New Jersey communities including Westfield, Linden, Elizabeth, Union, Plainfield, Scotch Plains, and all of Union County. Attorney Cooper is dedicated to helping his clients through the divorce process on a personal level, and takes pride in offering support before, during, and after legal proceedings. For those who are going through a painful divorce, social media is a tempting outlet, but one that is often best left untouched.
If you are considering divorce or are in the middle of divorce proceedings, contact our firm online or by calling our Linden office by dialing (908) 481-4625 today for a free and confidential consultation.