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Social media pitfalls to avoid during divorce

Florida readers may be surprised to learn that the simple act of blowing off steam online during a divorce can have serious financial and legal repercussions. Divorce experts interviewed on the Huffington Post suggested the following ways to avoid social media pitfalls during a divorce.

Social media posts can be used against a spouse during divorce proceedings. Things such as photos posted on Instagram, tweets or Facebook posts can be used as evidence in court. Some people may have the mistaken belief that blocking their ex and his or her friends is enough to ensure online privacy; however, a person can use many methods to get around a block to see what is being said on social media. For example, an ex-spouse could create a fake account and gain access that way. Deleting social media posts may be interpreted as tampering with evidence and should be avoided.

Social media may be used out of context and may be put together in such a way as to paint someone in a negative light. For example, an online rant session could be interpreted by a judge as threatening or defamatory. Additionally, negative posts about an ex-spouse that are put online in such a way that children might see them could be seen as damaging to the kids. Furthermore, social media posts can be used against someone even if the person did not make the post him or herself. For instance, if two parents have joint custody and their teenager posts a picture of drinking at a party, the post could be used as evidence of unfit parenting.

The most important - and perhaps difficult - thing to do during a divorce is to remain as civil as possible. A Florida lawyer with a background in divorce may be able to advise someone going through a divorce regarding online reputation management, social media and other Internet issues relating to divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Divorce Mistakes You Don't Even Know You're Making", Taryn Hillin, March 18, 2014

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