People in Louisiana and across the U.S. may need to be reminded to think before they tweet, text, Instagram or Facebook, especially if they think a divorce could be in their future.
It might feel good to post a message on Twitter, bashing a spouse, but judges have shown that they will consider such messages as evidence in court. Once the message goes viral, it’s no longer a private communication, and courts are increasingly hesitant to honor privacy issues when someone share private thoughts or pictures for the world to see.
Judges have begun to consider photos of people with new significant others or nasty notes posted online in deciding divorce cases. People must restrain themselves and not post photos from a date on Facebook or Instagram before their divorces are final.
For those who want to share the photos with friends, do it the old-fashioned way. Don’t send them digitally; instead have them printed at the drug store and show friends over coffee. For those who want to complain about a spouse, do it while on a jog with a friend; don’t put the complaints in writing for a friend to hit the “forward” button to share with someone else.
Even when people are not “friends” or “followers” with their spouse online, don’t think that messages or photos will not get back to them. Mutual friends will share what they saw, and such information could affect everything from child custody to alimony. Photos of a night carousing – complete with drinking, drug use or suggestive behavior – will find their way into the hands of an ex-spouse, perhaps helping to make the case that one parent is unfit.
Whether people want to share happy times or angry thoughts, do not do it via social media. The day will come eventually when they can post any message they would like. The days pre-divorce are not it.
Source: Huffington Post, “Step Away From the Computer: Why Divorce And The Internet Don’t Mix,” Jason Marks, Oct. 15, 2012