Technology, Social Media, and Your Orlando Divorce
When you are planning to file for divorce in Orlando, it is important to think carefully about how you use social media. Given the high rates at which people embrace social media and regularly post on sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you should not assume that your social media persona is a private one. Indeed, according to the Pew Research Center, although millennials use social media more than Americans in Generation X or the Baby Boomer generation, “there has also been significant growth in tech adoption in recent years among older generations.” In other words, even if you begin your divorce proceedings with a spouse who has eschewed social media, you should not assume that your own presence on social media will remain outside the bounds of your divorce proceedings.
A recent article in Divorce Magazine discusses the ways in which social media has come to play a role in many divorces across the country, including in Florida. We want to say more about social media and your divorce, and to give you some tips for ensuring that your social media presence does not harm your property division settlement or your child custody case.
- Avoid Using Your Social Media Accounts
In Florida courts, your spouse may be able to use images, language, and anything else posted to your social media accounts as evidence in your divorce case. To avoid this risk altogether, it is often a good idea to stop using your social media accounts as you plan for your divorce, although you should not delete them altogether, as this can be considered spoliation, or the purposeful destruction of evidence.
- At Least Adjust Your Social Media Privacy Settings
If you are unwilling to stop using your social media accounts for now, at least adjust your privacy settings so that you posts are not public. However, there are numerous ways in which your ex could end up with access to your social media posts. For instance, you may have friends in common, and a friend could see one of your posts and share it with your ex.
- Be Careful About Images You Share Online
Even if you have adjusted your privacy settings, do not assume that everything you post is in fact private. Whether you are posting photographs of yourself with friends and acquaintances, or you are posting images from a weekend trip, it is important to think about how those pictures could be interpreted and could potentially be used against you in your divorce. Remember if you are posting information and photos on social media, you cannot claim that the information is private as you are purposefully sending it to other people.
For example, if you are seeking spousal support and are posting images of yourself on a weekend trip, your spouse’s lawyer might try to argue that a weekend trip either means you have hidden assets, or that you simply are earning enough money that you do not need spousal support. Similarly, if you post photographs of yourself consuming alcohol or engaged in any other related behaviors, your spouse’s lawyer could attempt to use those images to argue that you should not share custody.
- Think About the Language You Use in Social Media
Similar to posting images, you should also be careful about the type of language you use in your posts. If you badmouth your ex on your Facebook page, for example, your ex’s attorney might try to argue that you are unwilling to help your children maintain a close and continuing relationship with their other parent.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Lawyer
If you have questions about social media and divorce, you should get in touch with an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer. An advocate at our firm can speak with you today. Contact Anderson & Ferrin for more information.