THE BLOG

Should I Be Using Social Networking Sites During My Divorce (or Should I Just Shoot Myself in the Foot)?

03/05/2014 08:53 am ET | Updated May 05, 2014

It is getting easier and easier to catch litigants in lies. You don't need hire a private detective or be lucky enough to catch them on surveillance tape. It is a lot simpler than that. Best of all, the proof is unimpeachable.

Despite all the warnings to stay off Facebook and other social networking sites, people keep posting things that belie the very arguments they are trying to advance in court; their own words disprove their case.

The posts, out of the divorce context, may be innocuous and really benign; but in the divorce setting, the postings could destroy your credibility. For example, a father in a recent child support case claimed to be broke, but made the mistake updating his facebook status about his recent engagement. His new fiancée tagged him on her page, flashing a big and expensive diamond ring -- so much for his cries of poverty.

Likewise, a parent's claims that support payments need be adjusted for an alleged unemployment just don't ring true when she was tweeting and blogging about the success of her new business venture.

There are many ways social media undermines your case. Here are a just few:

1. Bragging or promoting yourself. Promoting yourself can cost you money in your divorce. For instance, how could you claim poverty when you've "checked in" at expensive restaurants every night or when your photo streams are full of vacation shots?

2. Partying online. Posts and photo's detailing excessive drinking or drug use are antithetical to claims of acting in the bests interests of children. Even if you don't post the picture, remember you can be tagged on someone else's page.

In one case, a dad cancelled time with the child because he had to "work late;" his Facebook page had a countdown to happy hour.

3. Guilt by association. Frequent posts with unsavory people do not enhance your stature.

4. Public criticism. Do not discuss the facts of the divorce action in rants online. Resist the temptation to be critical of your spouse and judge on the social forums.

To borrow a takeaway line: social media during divorce, just don't do it.