Social media has changed culture in many different ways. It even affects our personal relationships. This is why some experts will say that it’s wise to stay off of social media if you’re going through a divorce. You don’t want to say anything that is going to make your situation worse or become fodder for your ex to use against you in court. If staying off all social media is not feasible, many divorce attorneys will recommend that you at least forego posting anything about your divorce, children, or (former) spouse.
Interestingly, according to some experts back in 2021, Facebook was being cited in an increasing number of divorce cases. They claim that it happens in about 20% of these cases, or one out of five. Why is this happening?
Evidence of affairs
In many cases, Facebook is how a spouse finds out that their partner is having an extramarital affair. Maybe they see posts between the two affair partners. Maybe they read the person’s private messages when they leave their account logged in. Maybe the paramour or a third party with knowledge reaches out directly to the spouse being cheated on. No matter how it happens, people are using Facebook for affairs and so this evidence is being used in court when couples get divorced.
Evidence of behavior
But this isn’t the only way that Facebook could be used during divorce. It can also be a source of evidence to show what someone’s behavior is like and how that may impact the divorce settlement or the custody arrangements.
For example, parents often get into disagreements about how custody should be divided. Maybe your spouse wants to have primary custody, but you think it wouldn’t be safe for the children. Providing screenshots of Facebook posts, comments or pictures may help support your case. For instance, if your spouse has written things on your wall that are threatening toward you or the children, or if they post pictures of dangerous activities or firearms, you may be able to use these to show that the children wouldn’t be safe in their custody. Even posting in public forums about tangential matters can be dangerous: consider, for example, what your online activity may reveal about your attitudes towards child discipline, medical care, attitude towards your ex, and so forth. Also remember that even in a “private” forum, you have no control over what other individuals may screen shot and share publicly.
Working through a divorce
Technology is certainly changing divorce cases on many fronts, and this just explores one of the ways Facebook has impacted relationships. Be sure you know what steps to take if you’re getting a divorce.