The Overshare: Using Techology During your Divorce

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 by Katie Carter

We all have the ability to instantly share information about where we are, who we're with, and what we're doing. As membership on sites likes Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ soars, even among otherwise responsible, respectable, professional people.

Social media and internet dating sites have proven to be dangerous inventions, especially in divorce cases. Really, they can be pretty condemning in many different situations (if, for example, you call in sick to work and then a friend posts a picture of you at the beach, beer in hand, and tags you in it, you may find yourself in trouble), but I am most concerned with divorce.

Facebook, in particular, has become one of the most valuable tools in a divorce lawyer's arsenal. If your husband is telling you one thing, and then posting something completely different on his Facebook page, it could prove beneficial to your case (especially if what he's lying about is his 22 year old girlfriend). Dating sites, too, are another place where soon-to-be ex-husbands find a platform to tell various untruths (for example, that they are single and childless when, in fact, they are litigating a custody case).

It's not a good idea to spend all your time stalking his Facebook page in the hopes of finding some incriminating evidence to use against him, because that's just not healthy. If, however, incriminating evidence pops up into your news feed, or your best friend's news feed (because he didn't unfriend you or your girlfriends after the breakup), it may be helpful to your case. Facebook is a way to keep up with old friends and connect with family, and it's hard to take that away, especially after you've grown used to having it as a way to check in on a daily basis. Computers have become so much a part of our daily routine (and trust me, I'm as guilty as anyone else) that the thought of removing something so central as Facebook probably seems unrealistic. If you can't deactivate, you should at least (1) stop posting, (2) update your privacy settings so that no one can post anything without your approval, and (3) ask your friends not to post anything. You can't stop them from doing it, but you can hope that your request will be honored and, failing that, use your privacy settings as a back up to keep anything from showing up on your wall. It's not a foolproof method, but it can help ensure that you don't get caught up in the tangled web of Facebook.