Divorce can be tough. Discussing asset division, alimony and child support with a hostile spouse can create feelings of alienation, helplessness and anxiety. Spouses experiencing these emotions often reach out to loved ones for support and care, with many using social media.

Social media offers friends and relatives the opportunity to connect across great distances, enabling long-distance support systems. Unfortunately, many social media interactions are much more public than people realize, presenting a dangerous situation for anyone involved in divorce proceedings.

Follow these 5 tips to protect legal interests

People involved in legal proceedings should take care when posting on social media. Even innocuous posts may show up in court as evidence against a spouse’s character or claim. The following guidelines can help people keep their posts in check and their legal matters safe:

  1. No disparaging comments about one’s spouse: Posting complaints about one’s spouse or the divorce can help relieve stress and feel supported. Posters must be careful not to post anything untrue or overly exaggerated, or their spouse might sue them for libel.
  2. Do not “check-in” to locations: Some spouses file for divorce because of an abusive partner. Posting on social media can let an abuser know one’s location, compromising a person’s safety.
  3. Separate friend groups: Many friend groups become intermingled after years of marriage. Spouses can overlook that many of their friends might share “hidden” or otherwise “private” posts with their spouse. Before posting, double-check who can see the post.
  4. Refrain from posting “suggestive” photos or information: Though a spouse might want to share photos of a fun night out with friends, an opposing lawyer may use them as evidence of infidelity or dishonesty.
  5. Temporarily close social media accounts: Experts say the most effective way to eliminate compromising posts is by temporarily shutting down all social media accounts. Though this cuts off access to some support systems, the risks severely outweigh the benefits.

A lawyer can help spouses protect their privacy

Spouses worried about their social media presence during their divorce can contact a local attorney familiar with Washington marriage laws. A lawyer can advise on what is safe to say or post and build a defense that protects their client’s rights and character.