Today, social media is quite literally everywhere. Television commercials, movie trailers, product labels, and even roadside billboards list Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and Instagram accounts for people, brands, and companies. Of course, this is simply a reflection of the culture itself, as most of us know at least a few people who are quick to share virtually any experience to their social media feeds. When a person is going through a divorce, however, social media can present some unexpected dangers. If you are a regular user of social media networks, there are some things you should keep in mind during the divorce process.
Social media sites are appealing because they allow users to create sort of an alternate version of themselves. For example, a person’s Instagram account is likely to show photos of the user looking his or her best or celebrating an accomplishment. Rarely does someone post embarrassing stories or unflattering images. While most of us expect there to be some disconnect between a person’s social media persona and real life, the distinction can be especially problematic during a divorce. The biggest problem is the absence of context.
A Reasonable Example
Consider a hypothetical but realistic situation. For the last several years, you and three of your closest friends have been planning the tropical vacation of a lifetime. You have been putting aside a few dollars each month and looking for affordable travel packages. Finally, it all comes together, and you book your trip, keeping your costs reasonable.
Just a few weeks before you are scheduled to leave, your spouse files a petition for divorce. You respond as required by Illinois law, and as part of your response, you ask the court for maintenance due to the income difference between you and your spouse.
With several weeks to go before your next scheduled court appearance, you decide to go on the trip with your friends as planned. You are able to put aside your emotions regarding the divorce and focus on having fun. Throughout the trip, you and your friends take many pictures, posting the best ones to Facebook and Instagram. As a whole, the trip is not reflective of your actual financial situation, but out of context, photos of you on a Caribbean beach sipping drinks could be presented as “evidence” that you do not need maintenance payments.
Social Media Guidance
If you are in the midst of a divorce, an experienced DuPage County family law attorney can help create a strategy for using social media that will not jeopardize your case. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with a member of our team today. We will work with you to ensure rights are fully protected throughout the proceedings.