As divorce lawyers we are often asked about the use of Facebook and other social media preceding and during a divorce. What you post on social media, like Facebook or Twitter, is relevant to the divorce process and can harm you.
Our advice is to stop using all social media while you’re going through a divorce. Everything you post, tweet, and share could end up coming back to haunt you in custody battles, alimony disputes, and even property division.
Your safest bet would be to take a break from social media and have your friends refrain from including you in their posts too. Obviously, inappropriate rants or comments about your wife are also a terrible idea, and should be avoided.
That’s not to say that you should purge your accounts and delete photos and posts. Doing that can also get you into trouble if a divorce or custody dispute is happening.
There are many stories of Facebook or other social media causing harm in a divorce or custody situation. We recently had an ADAM client who was not a frequent Facebook user, but would occasionally post pictures of his children. It just so happens he would also sometimes post pictures of a night out with his friends at the bar, or a night at the ball game.
He had a pending divorce, and his wife was very bitter about things and liked to make misleading statements about him regarding their parenting time dispute. She tried twisting a few bar nights into alcoholism and child neglect. All it took was just a few screenshots of his Facebook pictures and posts and suddenly there was “evidence” against his ability to parent. She made it appear that he was out drinking in the bars all the time.
In the end he was able to keep the custody schedule he wanted, but it wasted unnecessary time and money in court in court fighting those allegations.
Generally speaking, your social media posts are admissible as evidence against you in court, so long as they were not obtained illegally or in a deceitful way. The posts can be used to prove other things as well, such as proof of an adulterous affair, evidence of a new job, or a new car or new home being evidence of lifestyle or income.
Again, shutting down your social media accounts would be the best approach to avoid misinterpretation and conflict in the divorce process.
About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)
The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men and practices a policy of integrity in all dealings.