Social networking activity can be revealing and harmful in CA divorces

Using social media is part of daily life for many adults in Rocklin; the Pew Research Center reports that 74 percent of American adults who use the Internet also use social networking sites. Many people do not think twice about the legal or privacy implications of sharing so much online. However, for people going through a divorce, recognizing the potential consequences of excessive social media use is essential.

Harmful misconceptions

The information people share through social media can affect various aspects of a divorce settlement. According to Forbes, comments and photos may reveal information about a person's job or personal property and suggest that the person is hiding assets or exaggerating financial need. This can affect property division, spousal support and child custody awards.

The potential impact of social media activity isn't just financial. According to the Huffington Post, a person's lifestyle choices and parenting tactics, as portrayed through social media, could be used to call the person's fitness as a parent into question. This could ultimately influence child custody and visitation decisions.

Still, numerous people ignore these risks and continue using social media during their divorces. The Huffington Post notes a few possible reasons for this:

  • People often believe they can contain the information they share. However, privacy settings mistakes can happen. Additionally, the settings that friends use can allow other people to see information that was not intended to be shared publicly.
  • People may trust their online friends too much. A "friend" may always choose to share posted information with other parties.
  • People think they can simply delete damaging posts later. However, other people can take screen shots to capture permanent evidence of the post. Besides, deleting a post can be viewed as destroying evidence.
  • People don't expect social media activity to be taken out of context. However, angry rants, questionable jokes and other content shared in moments of poor judgment could reflect poorly on a person's marital conduct, parenting ability and more.

Unfortunately, social media mistakes can be costly. Once influential information has been shared, containing it or explaining it away can be difficult, which is why preventative measures are often advisable.

Protecting personal information

People who are going through divorces should not share anything through social media that they would not brought up during divorce court, according to Forbes. It's often safest to simply deactivate social media accounts for the duration of the divorce. This removes the temptation to share harmful information. It also eliminates the risk of being tagged in questionable content posted by online friends with poor judgment.

Anyone who is preparing for a divorce and concerned about privacy issues or other possible complications should consider meeting with a family law attorney. An attorney can provide needed advice on avoiding missteps that may result in an unfavorable settlement.