Social media allows people to connect with friends and family across great distances. People use social media to find old friends or colleagues, build their social support systems and even blow off steam.

Interactions on social media may seem harmless, but those involved in litigation may want to think twice before posting. Some posts can impact arguments in a courtroom, especially between spouses negotiating their divorce.

5 social media guidelines for couples during their divorce

Though social media is full of friends and family, posts are not as private as many people believe. Things said on social media can end up having a significant impact on any legal proceedings, including divorce. Couples eager to negotiate their divorce as efficiently as possible follow these social media guidelines:

  1. Do not insult one’s spouse: Some people turn to social media to rant about conflict in their life. Though these posts can garner support and encouragement, they may have consequences in the courtroom. Untrue or exaggerated statements risk a libel suit, while emotional rants can reflect poorly on one’s character.
  2. Post few pictures: A night out with friends may seem harmless to post online, but an ambitious lawyer can turn a fun evening into a courtroom disaster. Courts might view these posts as evidence of infidelity, dishonesty or unfitness as a parent.
  3. Do not reveal one’s location: Many spouses file for divorce to escape an abusive partner. Careful spouses will avoid “checking in” on social media, as it may inform an abuser of their victim’s location.
  4. Divide social circles: Many married couples’ social circles mix, making online privacy even more difficult. Before posting, make sure that those with visibility on the post are trustworthy. Many mutual friends might share a “private” post with one’s spouse.
  5. Close all accounts: Spouses who take their divorce seriously will shut down their social media accounts for the duration of negotiations. Closing all accounts prevents a spouse from making any mistakes whatsoever, protecting one’s character and the divorce suit.

Consider asking a lawyer to help maintain privacy

Spouses who hire a lawyer find more success maintain their privacy and protecting their case. A local attorney familiar with Illinois divorce law can answer questions, provide insight into online privacy and draft comprehensive divorce agreements.