The impact of social media on your divorce


During a divorce, emotions run high. It’s an upsetting and stressful time.

Social media can provide relief from the reality of your situation, but it’s important not to get carried away with online activity and to ensure that status updates and images posted online are not contradictory to anything which you seek to rely on in court or negotiations.

You may want to tell the world how unreasonable your ex is being, venting your anger to anyone who will listen. However, taking to social media can often make matters worse. During this time, try not to let emotions take over.

Financial agreements
In divorce, both parties have a responsibility to provide full and frank disclosure – make sure your social media accounts aren’t portraying a different story to the one you’re telling in court.  Many people are oblivious to the fact that social media posts are public documents so proceed with an air of caution.

Determining a fair financial agreement during divorce is an essential factor in allowing both parties to maintain independence and move on from the relationship. When you split with your partner, you may be tempted to take a holiday or partake in a little retail therapy, both of which are perfectly acceptable in helping to ease the strain you may have experienced during the process.

However, be careful what you post to social media as it may be factored in to any discussions regarding finances. For example, if you’re asking for over 50% settlement because your wage is low but you’re posting pictures of yourself on holiday with a new (wealthier) partner it could give your ex the evidence they need to contest your claims.

The wrong impression
People ‘check-in’ to locations visited, on sites such as Facebook. This can cause problems when going through a divorce. What can seem like a quiet time with a friend in the local pub could be misconstrued as a boozy night out. Rants on social media are also very common and some can get out of hand. Steer clear from ranting so as not to give the wrong impression of your state of mind.

Incriminating material
Even if you have removed your ex from your friends/followers list and blocked them, you may still share mutual friends. Couples have often even gone to the lengths of creating new accounts to monitor each other’s behaviour post break-up for the sole purpose of gathering evidence to use in court and even to blackmail them.

Where a relationship has broken down due to infidelity, you may have seen incriminating messages and/or photos on your partner’s email or social media accounts. It can be very tempting to ‘hack’ their accounts to obtain the proof, thinking it will help you in court. This is not a good idea due to a number of reasons:

  • The evidence may be inadmissible in court as it is private/confidential.
  • You could end up facing criticism or separate legal action for invading your ex’s private accounts (particularly if you have hacked their work email).
  • It is unlikely to reflect well on you in court, invading privacy in this way can often be viewed as abusive behaviour in a relationship.

For further advice, please contact our specialist family law team on 01792 468684.

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