When Instagram Insta-ruins Your Divorce Case (& Other Social Media Pitfalls)

Now 2017, most of us recognize the utility and potential hazards of an online social media presence. While we may commit the occasional virtual social faux pas (ahem, accidentally “liking” an ex’s spring break photo from a decade ago), nothing can ruin a legal case faster than loose lips and indulging in this established overshare trend. Your toddler may be adorable and the temptation to immortalize their ridiculous antics will call to you, but resist. What if that snapshot contained easily accessible, detrimental information that could ultimately be used against you? An innocuous beer can, ordinary bruise, or hazardous environment may be captured and hinder your custody suit. Lavish vacations or luxury items may raise eyebrows in court when it comes to the division of assets. Law offices are saturated with tales of such hearing-day surprises.

Play defense. Take action:

Limit the amount of personal information you release online.

Fake names, folks. There’s no reason each of your seventeen accounts need to know your address, childhood pet, and pant size. Keep things vague. Turn off geo-location. As an addendum, keep a physical hardcopy of these details in the event you need to recover an account.

Privacy settings. Max them out. Build yourself a virtual Ft. Knox.

No excuses. Virtually every major social media application has a handy walkthrough for keeping out prying eyes.

Observe and record.

On the flipside, cross your fingers that your ex has yet to observe such social media standards, and gather intel. Texts, emails, Facebook photos – all are to be treasured when dealing with an event (divorce) that affects your future.

Change all of your passwords.

Perhaps you are a trusting gem of a human and were more than happy to share accounts with your former soul mate. You are gearing up for a life apart. You wouldn’t still allow them the key to your house, car, or diary after the split; there’s no reason to remain electronically linked in either.


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