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How to use social media during a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2016 | Divorce

Texas couples who are divorcing should not necessarily delete their social media accounts, but they may want to stay off sites like Facebook and Instagram as much as possible and watch what they say in email and texts. Deleting accounts may be seen as destroying evidence, and all electronic communications might be subpoenaed.

Even the appearance of impropriety might be enough to cause trouble. For example, a parent who posts photos appearing to be drunk when caring for the children could lose custody. A dating profile could be used to accuse a person of cheating, or it might contain information that contradicts court testimony.

In one case, a parent who owed child support did not disclose the existence of a side business. However, the other parent’s attorney found the business on LinkedIn, and the person was required to pay more in support. In another case, a man requested alimony on the grounds that he was unemployed. After he posted about his job on social media as well as an expensive vacation, his request was denied.

People who are facing the end of a marriage might want to discuss with their attorneys how best to conduct themselves while divorce negotiations are going on. For example, an attorney might offer advice on how to avoid antagonizing the judge in court. An attorney might also suggest trying mediation before turning to litigation. This may be particularly beneficial if there are children because parents may learn valuable conflict resolution skills that they can use to co-parent. Furthermore, children may adjust to divorce better when parents can cooperate, and everyone may be happier with the results. Avoiding social media might also prevent conflict from erupting in that medium, and this could help keep the process more amicable.