As a Minnesota resident, you likely love social media just as much as people across the country. In fact, your joy of keeping up with your family and friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. may result in your spending a significant amount of time on your cellphone, laptop, computer and other electronic devices. Unfortunately for you, however, if you and your spouse are headed for divorce, this is one time when social media can become your enemy, not the electronic BFF you thought it was.
Posting anything at all on Facebook about your divorce or the goings on between you and your spouse during it puts you at great risk for revealing information that (s)he and his or her attorney may well use against you in court. Before you laugh off this warning as ridiculous, you should be aware that as long ago as 2010, two-thirds of American divorce attorneys admitted that they regularly monitored Facebook. Why? Because that was where they found the most damaging evidence against their clients’ spouses.
Despite your zealous efforts to privatize, protect and secure your Facebook posts and photos, do not make the mistake of thinking that your information remains the strict purview of your selected family and friends. It does not. Actually, your information ceases to belong to you as soon as you post it. Facebook and the other social media outlets can choose to release it to others and face no sanctions or other forms of control.
In addition, you likely do not really know all your Facebook “friends” personally. Once they receive your information, you have no guarantee of what they will do with it. Re-postings alone quickly result in an ever-widening circle of people who access your information, secondhand or worse. None of this even begins to address the issue of hackers and other technology-savvy individuals.
Once you decide to divorce, use every coping mechanism you can to avoid posting any of the following on Facebook:
- Photos of or information about any new romances you contemplate or engage in
- Suggestive or sexually-explicit photos of yourself
- Photos of or information about expensive purchases you contemplate or make
- Photos of or information about where you go, when and with whom
- Photos of or information about any change of residence you contemplate or make
The more contentious the issues between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the more care you should take with regard to anything you post on Facebook or other social media. In an abundance of caution, you may want to consider going back through the postings you have made within the past six months and deleting those you now think reveal too much personal information.
While you suffer in electronic isolation, cheer yourself up with the thought that your family and true friends will understand your silence. Besides, once your divorce becomes final, you can once again enjoy social media to your heart’s content.