In today’s transparent world of social media, nothing ever really gets deleted. Before, during, and after divorce proceedings, you must be very cautious with what you share, where you share, and with whom you share your interests and thoughts with.
· ‘Like’ other posts
· ‘Follow’ others
· ‘Hashtag’ trending events, which may show your behaviors, who you interact with, or give hints to your location
Utilizing social media today is second nature to most. It is embedded in our culture, and our phones have become (almost literally) an extension of our arm, and our personality. In the beautiful cityscapes and countryside of California, residents capitalize on the gorgeous towns or cities or bars without giving a second thought to the consequences of their habits. Today, there are an innumerable amount of ways that social media can affect your marriage, divorce, or child custody agreements.
· Has a ‘live’ feature in which you broadcast,
In real time, what you’re doing
· You can ‘check in’ with friends, giving them
A precise location of what you’re up to
· Ability to ‘tag’ photos and videos (and your
Friends can tag you as well)
How Social Media can Impact your Life
Have you ever been on a passionate Facebook rant, or got into a Twitter battle with an ex? Creeped on a crush’s Instagram page on to find something you didn’t like? The choices we make on social media can have adverse effects for both parties, not just yourself. These online platforms are often a direct reflection of ourselves, and it is important to consider that anything floating on the web can be used as evidence, either for or against you.
- Ranting on a social platform about a spouse, ex, or their family may show that a guardian is not supportive of a positive relationship for the child
- A child misusing social media may develop a case of neglect or lack of parental supervision
- Checking in to locations or being tagged in photos/videos may lead to you getting caught in a lie shows a pattern of carelessness
Let alone the considerations of tarnishing your name and/or reputation, your spouse’s, or your child, there is also an enormous financial consideration to what can be lost during divorce or separation proceedings. California law mandates a ’50-50’ split of all martial property, meaning harboring undisclosed financial assets will be detrimental if discovered through online platforms.
- According to Forbes Magazine, 81 percent of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers surveyed in 2012 reported a significant uptick in social media products being used in court cases
- Facebook is the most common social media platform to cause problems for divorce proceedings
- Other common websites which heavily collect user data
Reducing Social Media Snafus
Being on social media is fun, and there are plenty of benefits of utilizing it, but there is a time and place. Minimizing or eliminating unnecessary risks to yourself, children, and friends will pay dividends down the road if you decide that divorce or separation is necessary.
- Reviewing privacy settings on every social media platform you utilize
- Increasing privacy settings and security features
- Not tagging your location, photos, or videos
- Eliminating untrustworthy or distant friends
Even after your careful restructure of how you choose to interact socially, The Huffington Post has shown that there are still plenty of considerations for responsible use of your free time. Unfortunately, there are no good answers to these points. One must consider the second-order effects of their choices.
- Guilty by association – Simply being tagged in photos or videos of questionable behavior will begin to build a pattern of your own lifestyle
- Sarcasm and other emotions don’t translate well to text – Posts make in a joking manner, or in the heat of the moment, are often interpreted at face value online. Others might not understand
- Whether you like it or not, online content doesn’t simply ‘disappear’ – Although snapchats disappear after opening, or an Instagram photo can be taken down, all it takes is one screenshot to keep the embarrassing information alive
- Online privacy isn’t always so private – Just because you have strict online privacy settings, doesn’t mean your friends do. Choose them carefully
If you are considering divorce or separation, it is always a recommended to seek a family law attorney first. There are an ever-increasing list of laws and guidelines in California family law; a lawyer can help you seek answers in times of stress and can help make sense of different factors and circumstances which may affect divorce proceedings.
Farbod Majd Esq.
Divorce Attorney w/ offices in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles
Services in English, Turkish, and Farsi/Persian (Iranian/American Lawyer)
8383 Wilshire Blvd Suite 646, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
310.956.4600 | Fax: 310.878.8989 | Fmajd@FmajdLaw.com