We have reached the point where folks share what they ate for dinner, where they went with friends and major triumphs and trials. It certainly enables us all to feel more connected, but this can work against those getting a divorce.
It is often best to exercise discretion when posting online. One reason for doing this is that many may wish to keep their private lives private. It is also important to remember that one’s digital footprint will be scrutinized by the opposing party and even the court during the information for the discovery phase of the filing.
Looking for clues online
Post-filing information on the web gained during information for discovery will be analyzed to gain insights. What may have once seemed like innocent sharing now can lead to questions or even concerns regarding custody. Examples include:
- Dating app profiles: These can prompt the other side to question whether a parent can provide a suitable home environment. It also paints a spouse in an irresponsible light, mainly if they created the profile before asking for a divorce.
- Photos of a night out: A picture of friends sitting at tables full of beers, wine or cocktails may lead to questions about addiction.
- Expensive trips: Documented evidence of flights out of the country or enjoying expensive ticket items like a trip to Disney may lead to questions about income or hiding assets.
- Reckless spending: A little retail therapy or night at a local casino is okay, but a consistent or irresponsible pattern can lead to uncomfortable questions.
- Social media posts: Those looking for support from friends would do better to talk in person or over the phone rather than making public announcements.
Keeping a low profile
Parents or individuals serve their own best interests if they keep a very low online profile while going through a divorce. It is best to make no announcements until the couple finalizes everything. It is to try to embarrass a spouse, but remember that family members, the children and the children’s friends may also see these digital missteps. This can thrust the kids into a spotlight they likely want no part of.