Does your divorce decree need a social media clause?

Property division in divorce can be relatively straightforward or highly complex, depending on your level of wealth and the form your assets are in (liquid vs. illiquid, etc.). And if you and your spouse have enjoyed a prolific social media life, your marital assets could be digital as well as physical.

Social media and could-based storage services are increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. And sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other sites has become a family affair. Therefore, if you ever get divorced, you may need or want to specifically address the use of social media as well as ownership of data in shared accounts.

Because each couple’s “digital assets” are different (and because social media is relatively new), your social media clause will likely need to be drafted from scratch. It should address issues unique to your marriage and family. Potential topics to be addressed in the social media clause could include:

  • Whether joint accounts should be closed or turned over to one spouse
  • Determining ownership of pictures, posts and other data posted online (file copying makes joint ownership fairly easy)
  • A pledge to keep details of the divorce off of individual social media accounts
  • A pledge taken by each spouse to refrain from denigrating the other online
  • An agreement outlining acceptable and unacceptable uses of social media as it relates to information posted about your children
  • An agreement outlining parental discretion over your children’s social media accounts (if applicable)

Remember that social media is not just a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family. What gets posted online can affect our work lives, our relationships and even the outcome of a divorce or custody case. Therefore, digital assets should be treated seriously and with proper care.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Why You Need a Social Media Clause in Your Divorce,” Brette Sember, Feb. 26, 2015

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