Breaking Up is Hard to Do—Especially When Social Media Gets in the Way

Recently a Miami man shot his wife, posting a photograph of her dead body on Facebook along with a confession. While this is an extreme example of how social media is used in this age of information, one statistic states that one out of every five divorces in the United States is at least partially due to Facebook, and sixty-six percent of online divorce evidence comes from Facebook. Attorneys are no exception: a full four-fifths of divorce attorneys report either using or encountering evidence extracted from social websites. Further, Facebook users who have either connected or re-connected with past partners on FB were much more likely to resort to emotional and physical infidelity.

The New Dimension Added From Social Media

Even a relatively short two decades ago breakups were much less complex. One of the primary reasons this is true could certainly be tied to the insanely huge amount of photographs and social media postings which memorialize forever even the most insignificant moments. Smart phones are the norm, so few people are ever caught without a camera when a photo op arises.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of social media postings has likely contributed to the dissolution of many marriages.  Insecure spouses are keeping an eye on who their mate is communicating with on Twitter and Facebook. When past girlfriends and boyfriends are part of that communication the resulting social media-induced jealousy can lead to heated arguments between spouses and those heated arguments can contribute to divorce.

Why it is Easier to Cheat When Facebook Enters the Picture

The Internet can give users a sense of anonymity as well as access to a world where temptation abounds and spouses not only have to worry about physical relationships but e-motional affairs as well. A troubled relationship suddenly becomes much easier to leave for a “better deal.” In fact, Facebook ranks as the number one place spouses who are unhappy in their marriage go to fantasize about a better relationship.

Using FB to Threaten a Spouse

During a nasty divorce, Facebook may be used as a means of controlling a spouse and getting more than a fair share of the marital assets. Most spouses share their most intimate secrets throughout a marriage. Then when a divorce is underway an unscrupulous spouse may use these secrets as blackmail. “If you don’t give me custody of the children I’ll post your secret on FB.” Many spouses actually carry through with the threat, posting secrets or personal details of their spouse’s life where friends, relatives, neighbors and bosses can read all about it. One attorney ended up being disbarred when her ex posted information on a past addiction, thus ruining not only her reputation but her livelihood as well.

How You Can Hurt Yourself

Many people are not truly aware of the damage they can do to their own divorce simply by posting photos and status updates. You may think it is harmless to post a photo of you acting silly at a party with friends—if you happen to be in the middle of an antagonistic custody battle, this photo may end up as evidence to prove you are an unfit parent. Likewise, if you are trying to avoid paying spousal support, then posting the photo of your brand new boat would not be a good idea. You should never, ever post anything on Facebook which has even the tiniest chance of coming back to haunt you during your divorce.

Further, never post anything at all when you have been drinking—photos posted during an alcohol-induced rage cannot be taken back—once it is on the Internet it is memorialized forever. To ensure your ex does not hack into your social media accounts, change your passwords often and keep them in a safe place. Take the time to read and understand the privacy settings on Facebook—then use them. De-friend your ex once a divorce is in the works then use your common sense about posting anything which could even remotely be considered inappropriate.

When Facebook is Part of Your Divorce, We Can Help

Matthew S. Poole is a highly skilled divorce attorney with a true passion for helping his clients through the pain of a divorce. Matthew has the necessary experience plus extensive knowledge of all laws pertaining to Mississippi divorce. Matthew Poole deliberately keeps his caseload lighter in order to ensure his clients receive the quality, personalized attention they need and deserve during this difficult time. Give Matthew Poole a call today at (601) 573-7429 for the quality legal representation during your divorce.

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