During a divorce, it is easy for parties to let their emotions take control. People often say or do things out of fear, anger or bitterness that they later regret. This is particularly easy to do thanks to outlets like social media.
Social media plays an increasingly common role in the Canadian legal system, including divorce cases. As such, if you are ending your marriage, you may want to think carefully about what you post, share, and like online. More specifically, you should take care to avoid the following four social media mistakes.
- Contradicting yourself. People might state in court or mediation that they have no money and then post pictures of themselves on holiday or out at a fancy restaurant. Or they claim they cannot afford spousal support but then brag about a big gambling win online. These contradictory statements and actions can come back to haunt a person during a divorce.
- Making false statements and allegations. Making false allegations is always a bad idea. And social media can be the tool used by others to reveal the truth. Chats, direct messages and time stamps to reveal where a person was at a specific time can all be used as evidence to confront false allegations.
- Assuming you are anonymous or private. Social media profiles, conversations and activities are not nearly as private as people think. There are countless ways to view protected images, identify an “anonymous” party and connect certain statements to a specific person. As such, it is best to assume everything you say and do online could potentially be viewed by someone else.
- Showing courts a different side of you. You may be on your best behaviour in court or mediation sessions. You might show how kind you are and how much you love your kids; you might describe the trauma and sadness you are experiencing because of the divorce. But all it takes to shatter that image of you in the eyes of the court is evidence of angry, explicit and hurtful rants on Facebook or Instagram pictures of you out partying and meeting new partners.
Considering all the ways your social media activity can work against you during a divorce, it could be wise to take a break from it.