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Can social media affect my divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Family Law |

If you are going through a divorce in Los Angeles, California, you may wonder how your social media activity can affect your case. Social media platforms connect you with others, but they can also be a source of evidence, conflict and controversy in a divorce.

Property division

Your social media posts can reveal information about your income, assets, debts, spending habits, lifestyle and financial transactions. For instance, if you post pictures of your expensive vacations, jewelry, cars, etc., you may contradict claims of financial hardship or the need for spousal support.

Similarly, if you post about your new job, promotion, etc., you may be exposing your earning potential or hidden income sources. Your spouse can use this information to challenge your financial disclosures or request a higher share of the marital property or spousal support.

Spousal support

Your social media posts can also affect your eligibility or amount of spousal support. For example, if you post about your new romantic partner, you may be jeopardizing your right to receive spousal support under California law. According to Family Code section 4323(a)(1), any new live-in person can reduce your need for support. In addition, if you post about your educational or professional achievements, you may demonstrate your ability to become self-supporting and reduce your need for spousal support.

Child custody and visitation

Your social media posts can also influence your child custody and visitation arrangements. For example, if you post about illegal, irresponsible or inappropriate behavior, such as drug use, excessive drinking, violence or neglect, you may bring your parental fitness and judgment into question. Your spouse can use this evidence to argue that you are not acting in the best interests of your child and request a modification of the custody order.

Emotional impact

Your social media posts can also have an emotional impact on you and your spouse during the divorce process. For example, if you post negative or hostile comments about your spouse or their family or friends, you may escalate the conflict and animosity between you. This can make it harder to reach an amicable settlement and prolong the litigation. Moreover, if you post details about your personal life or feelings during the divorce process, you may expose yourself to unwanted scrutiny, criticism or sympathy from others. This can affect your mental health and well-being and interfere with your ability to cope with the stress and challenges of divorce. Once it is time to divorce, it may also be time to freeze your social media.