Social media has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. While it has its value in helping us stay connected to others and expand our social network, it can also be detrimental to our existing relationships, including a marriage. And if your marriage is headed toward divorce, then social media use can jeopardize your legal positioning, too. Therefore, when it comes to family matters, social media can pose a significant threat.
How social media affects marriages
There are several risks associated with excessive use of social media during your marriage. Here are some of the biggest that you might want to be on the lookout for in your relationship:
- Jealousy and suspicions: Social media gives spouses the opportunity to more closely monitor each other’s lives. This can lead to unfounded suspicions that breed jealousy and distrust that can be hard to shake.
- Physical and emotional infidelity: Studies show that a significant number of affairs start with social media communications. This connection can start as emotional infidelity that then leads to physical cheating. Simply knowing this can sow further doubt about your spouse’s use of social media.
- Social media addiction: As you’re probably aware, a lot of people are addicted to their phones and social media. As a result, your spouse might end up spending more time interfacing with others online than they do interacting with you in real life. This can dull your relationships and eventually lead to divorce.
If you’ve experienced any of these situations and are now finding yourself on the precipice of divorce, you need to be careful about your ongoing use of social media while still keeping tabs on how your spouse is using it. Let’s take a closer look at the role social media can play in your divorce.
How social media can impact divorce
In a divorce, social media is often used as evidence. Here are some ways that it’s utilized:
- Demonstrating behavior that renders a parent inappropriate for custody: If child custody is going to be a hot button topic in your divorce, then social media can be powerful evidence to demonstrate why a parent’s physical custody or visitation with the child isn’t in the child’s best interests. Social media posts might show an unwillingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent, excessive partying, and opinions about parenting that are detrimental to the child.
- Portraying a certain lifestyle: Even though social media tends to only show the best parts of our lives, those posts can be taken out of context to demonstrate that spousal support isn’t needed or that property division should be handled a certain way. These posts may even lead to accusations that assets are being hidden. Of course, these posts might actually show reality, too, in which case they could be pivotal in showing that a spouse has the financial resources needed to pay support.
- Destroying character: If you’re going to be litigating over certain aspects of your divorce, then you’ll want the judge to believe what you have to saw on key legal issues. But if your social media posts negatively impact your credibility, then it’ll be harder to argue for what you want. Of course, the reverse is true, too, which is why it’s a good idea to scour your spouse’s social media posts, if you can, to find evidence to support your legal strategy.
Know how to handle social media in your divorce
If handled improperly, social media can either tank you position in your divorce or leave you with a missed opportunity to secure what you want out of your marriage dissolution. You don’t want either of those situations to happen to you. That’s why now is the time to think about how you can use social media to your advantage in your divorce and diligently work to avoid the mistakes that could derail your position.