Social Media Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the party initiating the divorce is not required to prove fault or wrongdoing by the other party. “Irreconcilable differences” or “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” are among the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. However, it is still possible for divorcing couples to take actions that can harm them, especially when it comes to social media posts. A Stockton divorce attorney explains some common social media mistakes to avoid during a divorce below.
Posting “Lifestyle” Photos
Posting certain types of “lifestyle” photos — for example, photos showing you buying a new car, taking an exotic vacation, or eating at high-end restaurants — can undermine claims that you cannot pay a proposed alimony agreement. And even if you can afford to pay a proposed alimony agreement, posting these types of photos may prompt your spouse to increase his or her alimony demands or lead to charges that you are hiding assets.
Posting or Being Tagged in Compromising Photos
Avoid posting or being tagged in photos that show you engaging in compromising behavior, such as excessive partying, engaging in risky behavior, or being in the vicinity of illegal behavior (e.g., drug paraphernalia). Even if such photos are taken out of context, your spouse may attempt to use them to show that you are an unfit parent and thus should not be granted joint custody.
Complaining About Your Spouse or the Divorce Proceedings
Divorce is stressful, and tensions between divorcing spouses often run high. While it may seem therapeutic to vent about your spouse or the situation you find yourself in on social media, resist the urge to do so. Complaining or bad-mouthing your spouse can easily get back to him or her, which likely will make the situation even more acrimonious. You may even upset your spouse so much that he or she becomes too angry to settle, forcing you to go to court.
Making Threatening or Harassing Comments — Even in Jest
Do not make threatening or harassing comments or comments that could be perceived as threatening or harassing. For example, you might make a dark joke implying that you would like to kill your spouse, but such a post — even if to you it is obviously in jest — can lead to claims of domestic violence. Such posts can also harm your standing in child custody disputes, as your spouse may use them to show that you are a violent person.
Assuming That Your Posts Are Private
Do not assume that your spouse will not see your posts merely because you have blocked him or her. You still likely have mutual friends who can screenshot your posts and share them. No matter how hard you try, you can never fully prevent your spouse from seeing what you post on social media.
Contact a Stockton Divorce Attorney for More Information
For more information about navigating the perils of social media during a divorce, please contact a Stockton divorce attorney at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.