Most divorce attorneys warn their clients to stay off social media -- Facebook in particular -- from the time divorce is even a consideration. Every picture, video and comment you post can potentially be used against you.
Even if you unfriend and block your soon-to-be-ex and delete photos of you having a few (or more than a few) drinks or maxing out your joint credit card on a trip to Cancun, your spouse's attorneys can find them. Further, unless all of your friends and acquaintances agree not to include you in any of their photos, your life will still be out there online.
Why Facebook Can Be Dangerous
However, a surprising number of people end up in the middle of divorce thanks to Facebook. One divorce attorney calls it "the single greatest breeding ground ever for infidelity" -- even more than "dating" sites like Ashley Madison, hook-up apps like Tinder and Grindr, and the good old-fashioned office romance.
One reason, the attorney says, is that there are a lot of legitimate reasons to spend time on Facebook. However, it also lets users connect with people they wouldn't otherwise encounter. They may "meet" through pages geared to politics, sports and other shared interests.
Perhaps even more dangerous than meeting strangers is reconnecting with old boyfriends and girlfriends from a simpler time. What begins as online infidelity "is the single most common seed for the mighty oak that eventually becomes a full-blown affair," according to this attorney.
Even if seeing someone from high school, college or your single days doesn't lead to infidelity, when you're faced with pictures of someone you used to know seemingly looking great and enjoying life to the fullest through a carefully crafted Facebook page can cause people to feel even more unhappy or unfulfilled in their marriage. Of course, happy marriages aren't likely to end because a spouse connects or reconnects with someone on Facebook. However, it's a more common cause of problems than many people realize.
How Your Posts Can Impact Your Divorce
If you're already in the process of divorce, regardless of what the tipping point was, it's essential to heed your attorney's warnings about staying off Facebook and other social media sites. If there are images or posts that you're concerned may come up as you negotiate your settlement and/or custody agreement, don't remove them until you let your family law attorney know about them so that he or she can work to mitigate any potential damage to your case.
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