The decision to get a divorce is a hard one, especially when you have children. Parents have to deal with several family court cases, and it can be overwhelming. Though difficult, it’s essential for parents to think about how their actions outside of mediation or litigation can impact a divorce and/or custody case. Many people spend their free time texting, on social media, or otherwise on a phone or computer. Parents involved in a divorce case have to exercise more care when existing online.
Though there is little wrong with being on social media or having an online presence during a divorce, there are some dangers to what and how you share things.
Avoid Oversharing About Purchases, Vacations, and Your Personal Life
Dealing with a divorce can be stressful, and it’s not uncommon that parents need to get away and spend some time or money on themselves. This may include purchasing something expensive, partying, or taking a vacation. These activities are fine in most cases, but you don’t want to overshare about them on social media. In a divorce, especially a contentious divorce, any evidence your spouse’s attorney can find may be used against you. Even other people’s photos from parties or vacations that you are in can cause an issue.
Photos of you drinking or partying can be used to claim that you are an unfit parent. Whether or not this is true, the judge may consider this to be irresponsible. Evidence of expensive purchases or far-away vacations could be used to show you do not need financial support. This could impact your ability to receive spousal support or child support, or alter the division of marital property. It may even result in your assets being invested further for hidden assets or claims that you took funds from joint accounts to pay for personal items.
Instead, it’s better to keep images about these activities off of social media. If that is hard for you, you may want to consider temporarily disabling your social media accounts or deleting the apps off your phone. It may be better to postpone large purchases until after divorce proceedings are finished, including waiting to take vacations. If you have to do these things, keep images of them off social media. Your attorney can advise you on if a vacation is the right move in the middle of divorce proceedings.
Avoid Discussing Your Ex-Spouse
It’s completely expected to need to talk about the difficulties of a divorce and separating from your spouse. However, it’s never a good idea to do that online. You shouldn’t talk badly about your co-parent and spouse on social media or private internet circles. It’s even better not to talk about them at all in those places. Your spouse’s attorney can use anything you say online to claim that you are unfit or have bad character and, therefore, should not receive the benefits you’re asking for in divorce.
Sharing negative things about your spouse can also make it harder to work with them. If your divorce is not extremely contentious, negative words online can make it contentious. It can also make co-parenting difficult in the future. Even when you believe that your ex will not see what you’re saying, word can reach them.
It’s better to keep the things you need to express private. This may be a therapist, counselor, friend, or family member who understands how important it is that the information you’re sharing remains confidential.
Be Careful About New Relationships
Depending on your divorce situation, dating someone new may be possible. However, it’s important to remember that information on dating apps is publicly available, so be careful what you say and what photos you include for strangers to see. If you do have a new partner, be aware of your co-parent’s feelings, and try not to overshare online about a new relationship. Your ex-spouse’s attorney may use this information to prove that you are an irresponsible parent or are not prioritizing the care of your children.
Q: How Can Social Media Be Bad for Co-Parenting?
A: Oversharing on social media can impact a custody determination, but it can also cause friction between actively co-parenting ex-spouses. Whether or not social media harms your ability to co-parent will depend on your relationship with your children and their other parent. Posting about your co-parent on social media can sometimes be alright, but it can also lead to resentment or one-upping of each other. It can create a feeling of competition between parents or lead to vindictive actions.
Q: What Is Marital Misconduct in Illinois?
A: Marital misconduct in Illinois is any actions that undermine a couple’s marital relationship. This includes breach of fiduciary duty, adultery, or other actions that destroy a couple’s trust. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, and there is no way to file for a fault-based divorce in the state. Therefore, you can’t file for divorce on the basis of marital misconduct, only for irreconcilable differences. Marital misconduct does not impact any decisions in divorce proceedings unless it impacts marital property. A spouse cheating does not change property division, but a spouse spending marital assets on their new partner may provide more property to the other spouse.
Q: Can Social Media Posts Be Used in Divorce Court?
A: Yes, social media can be used as evidence in divorce proceedings. Your posts, comments, direct messages, friends’ posts, and other online information can be used, even when accounts are private. It’s smart to be careful what you post while not deleting relevant information or accounts. Always consult with your attorney.
Q: What Rights Does a Father Have in Missouri?
A: Fathers have the same parental rights as any parent. This includes equal rights to physical and legal custody, visitation rights, the right or responsibility to child support, and the right to pass children inheritance. It also includes the right to make important legal decisions for their children, including education, healthcare, and religion decisions.
Code of Conduct in a Divorce
Many fathers want to ensure they retain parental rights and significant custody over their children. It’s essential not to jeopardize this by oversharing online. If you are unsure what actions could hurt your case, or need strong legal advocacy during divorce proceedings, contact Stange Law Firm.