A divorce is a hard process for any couple, and divorces that enter litigation can be very emotionally exhausting. During divorce court proceedings, it’s essential that you protect your interests. There are several ways that being active on social media can harm your divorce court case. In contentious divorces, your spouse’s attorney will use whatever possible evidence against you, and that includes posts on social media. Certain types of social media posts can jeopardize the outcome of your case and harm your right to spousal support, child custody, and other parts of a divorce.
How Social Media Can Be Used Against You
If you are in a contentious divorce, it’s very likely that your spouse’s attorney is reviewing your social media for evidence against your character.
During a divorce, it’s often a smart idea to log off of social media altogether. If you can’t do that, opt for posts about simple and enjoyable hobbies or pictures of your happy family. During a divorce, there are specific types of social media behaviors to avoid. This may include:
- Vacation Pictures
A divorce is not easy, and some people decide to take some time away and relax. Depending on your situation, it may be unwise to even take a vacation. Always talk with your divorce attorney about trips out of town.
Posting about the vacation online can be even more harmful. Your spouse’s attorney may use this to show that you have enough money to take a vacation. They may claim that you’re hiding assets from the court. Alternatively, they may use the vacation as proof that any spousal maintenance or child support you’re asking for is unnecessary. The further from home a vacation is, or the more expensive, the more likely it can be used against you.
- Talking About Your Spouse
It’s completely normal to be frustrated with a divorce and have extreme emotions about your situation. However, these feelings, especially regarding your spouse, should never be shared on the internet or social media. This may be used to show bad character or that you would be unable to keep negative opinions to yourself in front of your children. This can affect your ability to get child custody or spousal support.
It’s also important to avoid talking about any new relationship you may be in during the divorce. Even if the relationship does not constitute infidelity, posting about a new partner may still be used against you. In some cases, an attorney will argue an infidelity case anyway.
Instead, talk to friends, family, or a therapist about your feelings. Be sure that anyone you talk to knows that the information is private.
- Showing Off Expensive Purchases
Just like vacation pictures, images of expensive purchases online can raise suspicion about your true need for support or assets. This may include cars, other expensive vehicles, jewelry, or expensive real estate. You could be accused of hiding assets, taking from marital assets when you shouldn’t be, or not needing financial support. This can cost you a lot in a divorce case. Ideally, wait to make expensive purchases until after your divorce is finalized. If that isn’t possible, keep the purchase private.
- Partying Pictures
Many people go out with friends during a divorce to enjoy time away and get rid of some stress. Although this is very normal, it’s important to not post pictures. Avoid being in any pictures during your nights out if you can. Pictures of partying can be used against you, particularly in child custody cases. They can be used to show that you are an irresponsible parent or that you do not need spousal maintenance. Even when it isn’t the case, your spouse’s attorney can use partying pictures to create an unflattering narrative.
Q: Can Social Media Posts Be Used in Divorce Court?
A: Yes, social media posts can be used in court. During a divorce, behaviors such as excessive spending, infidelity, abusive behavior, reckless behavior, or neglectful parenting may be proven through posts you make on social media. This could sway the judge’s opinion on spousal maintenance, property division, child custody, and child support. Certain social media posts can cost you time with your children and financial support.
Q: Should I Delete My Social Media Accounts When Going Through a Divorce?
A: You shouldn’t delete social media accounts, but a divorce may be a good time to deactivate them or log off. Deleting posts may be considered destruction of evidence in some cases. Deactivating accounts and deleting apps off your phone may keep you from using social media during a divorce. This is useful because information on social media could be used against you in divorce court.
Q: What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Illinois?
A: Illinois divides property during a divorce based on equitable distribution. This means that assets are split equitably, not equally, based on several factors. The gender of a spouse is not one of those factors. Instead, the court looks at many factors, including:
- Each spouse’s financial and other contributions to the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The separate property owned by each spouse
- Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
- Any prior court order obligations, like child support from a prior divorce
- The tax implications of the division of property
Q: How Do I Protect Myself in a Divorce in Illinois?
A: During a divorce, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself financially, legally, and emotionally:
- Gather important financial records.
- Make sure you understand the divorce process.
- Find a support system for emotional support and aid.
- Ensure that your children are cared for during this difficult time.
- Determine if mediation is possible for your divorce.
An effective way to protect your legal rights during a divorce is to work with an experienced divorce attorney.
Protect Your Interests During a Divorce
A divorce attorney is essential during divorce litigation. If you’re unsure what behavior can be used against you in divorce court, your attorney can help you. At Stange Law Firm, we can provide you with legal counsel to get you through your divorce, and we aim for the most beneficial outcome. We understand how behavior inside and outside of court can affect your case. Contact Stange Law Firm today to see how we can help with your divorce case.