SOCIAL MEDIA DURING DIVORCE
Social media is a minefield during a divorce case. Upset, angry, or hurting people may feel the need to vent, but the using social media during your divorce is not the time or place to do that. The following are 16 points to remember about social media during divorce.
1. Do not delete anything that you have already posted. If you do so, you may be accused of "spoliation of evidence," which is essentially destroying potential evidence needed in a court case.
2. Remember anything you say on social media about another person, particularly about a third person and what impact that third person had upon your marriage, your separation, or your divorce, may not be covered by the "litigation privilege" and, therefore, the "litigation privilege" may not protect you from a defamation lawsuit.
3. The very best approach is to deactivate all your social media accounts, including Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, twitter, YouTube and any other social media accounts you may have.
4. Through discovery in a contested divorce, your spouse or partner can obtain all your online credentials and passwords.
5. Review all your accounts to make sure they have the highest privacy settings.
6. Remember anything you say, or pictures you post, can be used against you in your divorce case.
7. Change all passwords immediately and then change them again within at least a month. When you change your passwords, use something unusual so your spouse will not be able to guess your passwords.
8. Review your entire list of friends and block or unfriend anyone you think may share information with your spouse.
9. Accept no new friends unless you are absolutely sure who the person is and that the person will not share your postings with your spouse.
10. Post no videos or pictures of yourself, the children, or your spouse, or pleadings or court rulings, and don’t let anyone tag you or post pictures either.
11. Never criticize your spouse or the children online.
12. It is best not to comment on your divorce, the pleadings filed, the court hearings or the results of any court hearing, or the status of custody matters, support issues or property division.
13. Caution your friends and relatives not to post anything about your divorce, your marriage, the reason for your separation, or any other issue concerning your divorce. If they do so, their postings should not include a statement that you were the source of that information.
14. Never post negative or inflammatory comments in the social media of another person, particularly your spouse’s, and do not encourage any other person to do so.
15. Do not attempt to hack your spouse’s social media or obtain access by any subterfuge. If access is needed, your attorney can obtain whatever is relevant and needed for your court case through legitimate discovery processes.
16. Do not participate in blogs or chatrooms, unless you absolutely must for business purposes.