Navigating Divorce and Co-Parenting in the Age of Social Media

If you follow Hollywood relationships, you may have seen headlines about Jennifer Lopez without her wedding ring. See https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/jennifer-lopez-seemingly-ditches-wedding-123942100.html

Perhaps you’ve seen publicity about Billy Ray Cyrus unfollowing his fiancée. https://people.com/billy-ray-cyrus-firerose-unfollow-each-other-on-instagram-amid-divorce-filing-8661766

These are examples of how social media can be a powerful tool that can impact relationships with ex’s and children, especially during a divorce. This article will discuss the impact of social media on divorce proceedings, with suggestions on how you can avoid any negative repercussions of social media posting in your divorce case.

What does the scientific research tell us about the social media and divorce?

  • Pew Research conducted a study of couples and social media. See https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2014/02/11/couples-the-internet-and-social-media/
  • Interestingly 2/3 of couples share passwords.
    • Consider changing passwords for all accounts during divorce, unless otherwise instructed by court order or your attorney.
  • 27% of internet users in marriage or committed relationships have an email account they share with a parter, and 11% us social networking sites with a shared social media profile.

What are the risks of social media during a divorce?

  • Potential evidence: assume that anything you post can be accessed and used against you, so make sure that you are not posting anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable being seen by the court.
  • Possible public disputes: Negative exchanges on social media can escalate tensions and complicate the divorce process.
  • Impact on your children: With the emotional challenges your children are likely facing as part of the divorce, consider the impact any post about the situation may have on their feelings.

What are best practice recommendations for social media during a divorce?

  • Think before your post. Be wary of posting about new relationships, lavish purchases, or any negative commentary on the court process.
  • Adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your posts.
  • Avoid posting any details or opinions about your divorce proceedings.
  • Monitor tagged content. Don’t forget that even if you are careful, content by family and friends could still impact your case.
  • Consider taking a break from social media during your divorce to avoid the pitfalls of online activity.

What are concerns to keep in mind with social media and co-parenting?

  • Avoid public discussions and especially fights with your coparent through social media.
  • Be aware that every source of communication may be a basis for a request for discovery later, so it may be easier to always communicate with your co-parent through one tool.
    • If you use messaging from multiple accounts, emails, texts, etc. then you’ll likely later have to pull up all those different messages, which can be inconvenient and time consuming.
  • Monitor your children’s online activity. Your parenting practices and habits may be an issue in your case, so you want to be assured that your child is not using social media in a way that could make you look like a parent who is not actively involved.

David Knecht Law Can Help

At David Knecht Law, we have extensive experience guiding clients through the intricacies of divorce and co-parenting, including the challenges posed by social media. Our team can help you develop strategies to protect your interests and navigate the legal landscape effectively. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience in all aspects of family law, and we focus on serving clients in Solano, Napa and Yolo. Contact us today at 707-451-4502.